Devon

Grandmother's £2m gambling spree

Eileen Evis
Image caption Evis lost a total of £127,000 on her gambling addicition, the court heard

A grandmother who stole from her employer to feed her gambling habit wagered £2m on a single internet gaming site, it has been revealed.

Eileen Evis, 61, from Colaton Raleigh, Devon, was jailed in March last year for stealing £140,000 from building firm TAG in Sidmouth.

A confiscation hearing at Exeter Crown Court heard police were still trying to claw back any assets Evis may have.

The judge adjourned the hearing for more information to be provided.

The prosecution has claimed between £20,000 and £30,000 of the money remains unaccounted for - although the defence lawyers have disputed this.

Employers 'ruined'

Evis worked as a £50-a-week bookkeeper at the family-run building company in Sidmouth, Devon.

The offences took place over 10 months from March 2007 after Evis was left in charge of the company when its owners Terry and Lin Green moved to Canada.

Prosecutor Howard Phillips said she had "effectively emptied" the firm's accounts.

"She physically laid her hands on just under £140,000," he said.

"She had a massive internet gambling problem - she wagered over £2m on one site."

Evis had lost £127,000 in total on her gambling addiction, Mr Phillips added.

The court was told Evis had transferred about £18,000 to her daughter who lives in Australia and £2,000 to her son, which she claimed was the repayment of a debt.

Figures 'disputed'

She had also received £35,000 in a divorce settlement from her husband since the case.

Mr Phillips said any money confiscated will go to the victims "who are effectively ruined".

"There is £20,000 to £30,000 not obviously accounted for...it doesn't immediately appear where it's gone."

Barrister Nigel Wraith, defending, said: "Some of the facts and figures are in dispute."

The Greens said their lives were a "total mess" and they are still being targeted by debt collectors over fraudulent loans taken out by Evis in their name, as well as bank debts racked up by her.

The couple say the ordeal has left them feeling suicidal and has cost them a total of £400,000.

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