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Online gambling addict destroyed building firm

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A junior accountant has confessed to stealing in excess of £1m from his employers in order to bankroll his spiraling gambling addiction.

Bryan Benjafield, 23, stole a small fortune from construction industry firm Charminster of Dorchester, Dorset, between January 2004 and October 2005 while working in its payroll department. His actions forced the company into administration, a court heard.

Benjafield pleaded guilty to two theft charges (totaling £616,000) and the transfer of in excess of £1m of criminal property, The Daily Telegraph reports.

He also asked a transfer his creation of a fraudulent money order worth £452K to be taken into account in sentencing. Benjafield looting of Charminster's funds came to light after the firm was unable to pay an outstanding VAT invoice.

Speaking outside court, prosecutor Sadie Rizzo said: "Benjafield, who admitted to police that he had a gambling addiction, spent all of the money online gambling through Ladbrokes and Skybet.

Because of his actions the company has been forced into administration and they have been forced to make redundancies."

Det Con Paul Carpenter said its was the biggest internet gambling case he'd come across. Benjafield handed himself into police after admitting his addiction, he added.

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