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Gambling addict IT boss gets 7 years' porridge for £19m swindle

Systems chief at power firm

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An IT boss who defrauded his employer of close to £19m to help fund a crippling gambling addiction has been sent down for a seven-year prison stretch.

Jonathan Revill pleaded guilty to four charges of fraud and one of transferring criminal property at Leeds Crown Court.

The court heard that he had used his position at multinational power firm GDF Suez to order computer equipment, which he had then sold online before using the proceeds to feed his gambling habit.

The Yorkshire Post reported that Revill would go online and splurge up to £300,000 on a single sporting fixture.

Leeds Crown Court was told that Revill, a service delivery systems manager, would forge signatures on invoices and order expensive IT gear, which he would then flog on eBay – or to other companies.

Judge Geoffrey Marson QC said: "This was a vast amount of money. This would have gone on if not for the internal audit. You were addicted to gambling."

Revill was authorised to spend up to £3,000 in a single transaction without approval. Over a three-year period he purchased £18,976,062.63 worth of equipment using his employer's funds, the court heard, although he only made £5.6m selling it.

A spokesman for the energy firm said: "We can confirm that one of our former employees in the retail business based in Leeds has been convicted of fraud.

"We are conducting a thorough internal review of this incident. We have assisted the police in their investigation and would like to thank them for their diligent work on this case."

Detective Chief Inspector Mark Griffin said: "Revill abused his position of trust and defrauded his employer on a massive scale to feed his addiction to online gambling.

"His actions have destroyed his life and affected a number of businesses. This case clearly highlights the very serious consequences of gambling addiction."

Revill may have to pay back some of the cash, with the exact sum to be decided at a proceeds of crime hearing later this year. He did manage to buy a £500,000 house which is still occupied by his family, who now face losing their home. ®

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