A former council highways worker has been sent to prison for four years and eight months for stealing almost £1m from Birmingham City Council.
On 15 December 2022 at Birmingham Crown Court, Tyler Evans pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position and another of money laundering.
Evans worked for the Highways Permit Team from 2010 until April 2014 where his role was to control the refund of payment bonds to contractors.
Anyone wanting to carry out work on the highways has to pay a bond, which acts as a security deposit, in case they cause any damage, reports Construction Management.
An investigation by the council and police found Evans had arranged for the refund of road bond deposits to his own bank accounts or those controlled by his associates.
The fraud was discovered after Evans had left the UK for the US, and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked with its US equivalent to get him extradited.
CPS specialist prosecutor Andrew Cant 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 is now pursuing a confiscation proceeding against Evans aimed at recovering the criminal property he has benefitted from.
Kevin Hicks, assistant director, highways and infrastructure, at Birmingham City Council, said: “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.”
Hicks said once the fraud was discovered “immediate steps” were taken to change the council’s internal payment process to help prevent it happening again.
He added that none of the contractors were affected and that the council’s insurers covered the financial loss, apart from an excess of £100,000.