Ex-council highways worker jailed for £1m fraud

A former council highways worker has been jailed for stealing £1m meant for contractors.

Tyler Evans, 42, was handed a sentence of four years and eight months after carrying out fraud while working for Birmingham City Council from 2010-14.

His role was to control the refund of payment bonds to contractors that carried out work on the city’s roads. The payment of bonds is a council requirement for anyone wishing to undertake work on the highways, as a security deposit for any damage they might cause during works.

According to a statement from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), a council and police investigation found that Evans refunded the bonds into his own bank accounts or those controlled by his associates.

He moved to the US before the fraud was detected, and the CPS had to arrange his extradition back to the UK to face trial.

Andrew Cant, from the CPS, 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.

“We will now pursue confiscation proceedings against him, aiming to recover the criminal property from which he has benefited.”

Birmingham City Council’s assistant director for highways and infrastructure, Kevin Hicks, said: “When concerns were brought to the council’s attention in 2014, an audit investigation was instigated, and subsequently the matter was referred to West Midlands Police. Before the completion of the audit investigation, Mr Evans had been dismissed from the council for other reasons.

“Once the fraud was uncovered, steps were immediately taken to change the council’s internal payment process to strengthen controls and mitigate the risk of this happening again.”
He added that the local authority’s insurers covered the financial loss apart from an excess of £100,000, and none of its contractors were affected by the fraud.