Ex-council worker jailed for almost £1m taxpayer fraud
A former council worker extradited back to the UK has been jailed for stealing nearly £1m from a local authority.
Tyler Evans pleaded guilty on 15 December 2022 to one count of fraud by abuse of position and another of money laundering at Birmingham Crown Court and has now been sentenced to four years and eight months imprisonment.
Evans worked for the Highways Permit Team at Birmingham City Council from 2010 until April 2014. His role was to control the refund of payment bonds to contractors who carried out work on the city’s highways. The payment of bonds is a requirement for anyone wishing to undertake work on the highways as a security deposit for any damage they might cause during the works.
A council and police investigation uncovered that Evans was arranging the refund of these road bond deposits to his own bank accounts or those controlled by his associates.
Evans had moved to the United States of America before the fraud was detected. When the CPS authorised charges against him, an extradition application was lodged with the USA. CPS lawyers worked with their American counterparts to get the extradition granted in US courts and he was transferred back to this country.
Andrew Cant of the CPS said: “Evans fraudulently diverted money, which should have been spent on vital public services such as education, health and social care or the upkeep of the city’s roads, for his own personal financial gain.
“The CPS secured Evans’ extradition from the United States of America so that he can face justice for his dishonest actions. Our network of international prosecutors helps improve our ability to successfully bring people back to our courts.
“We will now pursue confiscation proceedings against him, aiming to recover the criminal property from which he has benefitted.”
Kevin Hicks, assistant director, highways and infrastructure at Birmingham City Council, said: “We would like to thank all those involved in working so hard to bring this case to court.
“When concerns were brought to the council’s attention in 2014 an audit investigation was instigated and subsequently the matter referred to West Midlands Police. Prior to the completion of the audit investigation Mr Evans had been dismissed from the council for other reasons.
“Once the fraud was uncovered steps were immediately taken to change the council’s internal payment process to strengthen controls and mitigate the risk of this happening again.
“The council’s insurers covered the financial loss apart from an excess of £100,000. None of our contractors were affected during this process.
“It is appalling that someone could steal money that should have been spent on public services, and we understand that confiscation proceedings will be pursued.”