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

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 …

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WTF?

So, an average of £500k a month, in lots of <£3k each over a period of 3 years and no-one (friends/family/co-workers/accounts dept.) noticed ? That's a lot of kit.

Where was he getting this stuff delivered to? His own warehouse?

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I agree...

... this is weird: we are talking of a minimum of 35+ transactions a week and it took 3 years for them to cotton on? I also really cannot understand how the approvals system could be set up so that the only limit applied was a ceiling on individual transactions. If I were a shareholder I would also be wanting to hold some of the senior management accountable for this - are we sure it didn't require someone higher up to look the other way?

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Coat

Re: I agree...

I guess it depends on how much stuff his department bought normally. This level of spending could have just been small-fry compared to the departmental budget.

Mines the one with the dodgy invoices in the pocket.

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Re: I agree...

GDF-Suez is huge, 250,000+ employees, €100bn/year revenue. Even so, I'm surprised that his boss isn't being shown the door as well, for not noticing this happening under his nose, delegated signing authority or not.

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Angel

Re: I agree...

This is a relatively large office (reported annual turnover over £1billion, 30,000 sq ft, between 250-500 staff based on released information) and in the last three years that they relocated and were involved in a large acquisition that resulted in a reorganisation of reporting/management/etc and resulting relocation of staff/changes of duties.

My understanding is that the office largely ran itself during the acquisition period for a number of reasons (the acquisition was a large French company acquiring a small UK-based multinational - hint: politics) and that "normal" controls were only re-introduced after the acquisition completed.

I suspect the £3k approval was to allow the purchase of new PC's and as part of the office move, a large number of new units were purchased in addition to necessary infrastructure.

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I wonder if

I wonder if he placed a bet on the chances of whether he'd be sent down?

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@ theblackhand

So what you're saying is that he took advantage of a situational absence of oversight to indulge in his addiction, and got caught when the normal controls fell back into place.

Well that sounds like a much more reasonable explanation.

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Re: @ theblackhand

Based on the newspaper articles, the gambling addiction started prior to this job (i.e. he had significant gambling debts pre-dating his employment).

I suspect it wasn't so much taking advantage as doing something and not getting caught. The procedures to catch him should have been in place but failed due to extraordinary circumstances and he persisted in his offending. My understanding is that he never made any attempt at denying what he had done.

Had the normal procedures been in-place, I believe he would have been caught within an audit cycle and the losses would have been significantly less.

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Pint

Re: I agree...

Quite.

Although he didn't screw up as badly as Manning's boss!

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It's all relatuve, without knowing turnover and IT spend it's hard to judge.

That said they must have been doing ok if it took an audit for someone to notice a near 20 million IT kit spend, be that an extra 20m or in line with their normal spending that's a large IT spend.

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Should have found employment with a bank

Betting other people's money on risky gambling would have been not only legal but heavily encouraged!

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Re: Should have found employment with a bank

That's what he will do when he gets out.

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Some time ago, I took over running IT at a large organisation (several thousand people) where the systems were chaotic (to say the least). I started putting together an asset register (none existed, of course) using accounts records. It soon became apparent they had been paying list price for IBM PCs and associated equipment, of which they bought many hundreds of units a year. No-one had spotted this 6-figure overspend.

By a remarkable coincidence, my predecessor's hobby was rallying cars. Guess which computer reseller sponsored his vehicle?

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Tell me about it...

Several years ago I was asked to compile an asset register (of networked IT equipment) for a medium sized multinational company. The only feasable way of doing it was to run a discovery application. Said application was loaded into an idle server in UK head office computer room and left to run for 2 weeks.

On examining the output it revealed almost twice as much IT equipment that even the most optimistic (pessimistic?) guess from within the company. Even more interesting was the revealed existance of two small server rooms on the far side of the globe which contained several servers and network switches and nobody seemed to know why they were there and exactly what they were doing.

I exited stage left and let them get on with it.

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Something much more dubious happened at a previous employer. Whenever an order for kit was made, the head of IT operations increased the quantities and sold off the excess. This was to fund his drug habit. When the scam was discovered, the guy was shown the door, but as far as I'm aware no legal action was taken against him since it would have been too embarassing to the company!

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Facepalm

Yet take one too many sick days...

..and yer fired.

Years of theft by accounting trickery? You MIGHT go to prison.

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And the logistics too

Putting aside the apparent laxness in the relevant parts of the business which should have prevented or stopped this happening, it's the sheer scale of the logistics that strikes me. Maybe 5-10 relatively high value deliveries a day which were checked into one or more receiving locations, then presumably shipped out again to a central holding area or direct to the new "customers".

Keeping that all on the go plus managing the ebay sales, payments and subsequent deliveries, just how much time was his real day job taking up, let alone his gambling addiction?

Defies belief that he was doing this unaided.

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If he was in charge of procurement, then it would have logically gone totally unnoticed.

He might even have made himself a good reputation for running around a lot and controlling everything personally.

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If this was Florida no matter the sin you get to keep your house.

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Coat

I'm not even trusted in buying pens.

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Trollface

Nice guy

I'd bet good money he was a real wanker to work for as well.

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Anonymous Coward

Steal that from a bank in a heist and he'd be doing a sentence three times as long.

Abuse of trust is surely a more serious crime?

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nice work if you can get it.

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