Accountant Spends £850K of his Employer’s Money at Betfred

According to an article in the Yorkshire Evening Post, 30-year-old Matthew Stevens will spend just over 3 years in jail for gambling £850,000, which he stole from his employer where he worked as an accountant, at Betfred.

Stevens admitted his crime and has pleaded guilty to two charges filed against him for taking money from company accounts over the course of 13 months. He spent thousands per month to support his online gambling habits and climbed the ranks to reach VIP status at Betfred.

The case presented before the Leeds Crown Court outlined how Stevens took advantage of the opportunity given to him by his employer. Owner, Mahmood Mazhar, trained him in the accounting and bookkeeping procedures at his company, Core Telecommunications.

Following his training, Stevens became the person responsible for paying creditors and employee wages as the in-house accountant. His new title gave his access to the company bank accounts, which he “bled” dry with repeated transfers into his personal accounts. He hid the fraudulent activity with fictitious transactions and when creditors began calling seeking payment, Stevens assured Mazhar that they’d been paid.

It was when Mazhar was notified of an unpaid tax bill of £250,000 by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) that an investigation led to Stevens’ arrest.

According to Stevens’ lawyer, the UK Gambling Commission has been notified of the Betfred offers sent to encourage him to play but unless he was part of a self-exclusion list how can the operator be at fault?

“The money was taken and the money was stolen and the defendant has used that money for gambling and not to fund a lavish lifestyle,” said he defense counsel, who claimed that Stevens had every intention of paying back the money he had stolen but was unable to.

Sentencing Stevens, Recorder Abdul Iqbal, QC, said, “You knew the intimate workings of this business and you must have known the impact of bleeding those bank accounts dry.”

The Yorkshire Evening Post reached out to Betfred and a spokesperson said that the company intended to "...look to review its operating procedures should any learning points emerge from this or indeed any case. However there is no evidence to suggest that any enticement of any kind was a factor in this case.”
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    pinkxxx

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    Its hard to trust people that are put into that position of power and acess...they can start out straight as an arrow and that temptation is too much for them. A friend of mine has a similar online business and his co founder and best friend found ways 2 yrs later to steal from the business. He lost a fortune and what he thought was a great friend . I suppose they think its a little easier to skim and take online , bottom line...all morals go out the window , have to be careful who you trust these days .
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    tweeksta

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    ♥ Dont Mind Me.... Im Just Slotting ♥

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    WTF was this person thinking wen he did this? the money he stole and lost from gambling did go back to his employer so he did pay them back like he said he intended to right?... well thats how i would of justified it if i had done wot he did i have a gambling problem but this person has a gambling addiction.
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    okotomi1

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    This is a further unbelievable story about trusting some person with this amount of money and giving him the chance to stole it. Apparently common sense is sometimes not available and people are just doing some stupid mistakes. Never ever, please poeple at Betfred.
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    crystyan

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    He got what he deserved
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    bgdadu

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    He has some huge gambling problems.I think he deserves to stay in prison for 3 years.He actually stole a huge amount of money to gamble.I think he was very stupid to play those money on the site he stole them from...at least he should have played on other online casinos, maybe he had smaller chances of being caught.
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    jade

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    He was quite bold, wasn't he. What surprises me the most is that he played at the very site he stole the money from. Didn't anyone at BetFred see these, I'm assuming, large deposits he made and if they did, didn't anyone wonder where he got that kind of money? I wonder if he has to payback any of the money because they never mentioned it. His attorney said ; "Stevens had every intention of paying back the money he had stolen but was unable to." I am just wondering how realistic is that goal, I mean, actually paying back the money. This guy had a gambling problem that was so bad it resulted in embezzlement from his employer. He's an addict, so If he did win anything, I think, he would have just redeposited the money into another casino account. Just sayin.......
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    mfayyaz

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    He reached VIP status, the amount of no deposit/bonus offers he's going to miss out on..... :( On a serious note, this is a mental health problem and i believe he got to a point where he couldn't stop even if he tried. As your taking more and more money you start to realise what a horrible position your in and your brain is telling you that the only way out is to pay back the money, however the only way your going to make that type of money on a low salary is to gamble.
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    barebones

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    Well this is an awful thing the guy did. I mean you need to have guts (in a bad meaining) to steal such enormous amount from your emplyer for such long time. I would never be capable to do such thing. I am glad that everyone found out about the crime he did and 3 years is in jail should be a lesson to him. He was definitely addicted to gambling otherwise I can't see how one would make such irrational decisions, steal and lose so much..

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