AN ACCOUNTANT jailed for conning the Bermuda Government and his own mother out of £1.7 million will have to pay back nearly £690,000 after his assets were seized.

Gambling addict Jeffrey Bevan lived a life of luxury – driving expensive cars, enjoying extravagant holidays and buying shares in racehorses – on the back of a fortune he swindled.

The 52-year-old Cwmbran bookkeeper was jailed for seven years and four months in the UK in January 2018 after he pleaded guilty to the elaborate scam against the Bermuda Government.

Last November, he was jailed for an additional 18 months after cheating his mum Lavinia Bevan out of £50,0000.

Bevan was back in Cardiff Crown Court for a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing during which Judge Michael Fitton QC ordered him to pay back £654,757.19 to the Bermuda Government and £33,333.34 to his mother’s estate.

The defendant must do so within three months or face another five years behind bars.

Bevan started his job as payments manager for the Bermuda Government in January 2011, earning £80,000 a year.

Prosecutor Timothy Evans said he worked in the accountant general’s department for two years where he was regarded as a “trusted” member of staff.

The father-of-two was employed to implement a new finance system which he was an expert in and used that know-how to cover his tracks.

“This was sophisticated offending with significant planning over a sustained period by a man in a position of power and trust,” Mr Evans told the court.

With the money he fleeced, the con artist built up a small property empire in the UK after he returned home from the British overseas territory, investing a big chunk of the cash in houses and penthouse apartments.

His real estate portfolio included buildings in Newport, Swansea, Glasgow and Nottingham.

Bevan was also living the high life, buying shares in racehorses and attending top track meetings at Royal Ascot as a VIP.

He and his family also enjoyed regular lavish holidays in the Caribbean, United States and Europe.

Bevans also bought a Mercedes car and paid off the £140,000 mortgage on his Cwmbran home.

But his spiralling gambling addiction was taking a huge toll and he lost a staggering £500,000 after placing more than 18,000 online bets between 2009 and 2014.

In terms of the Bermuda scam, he pleaded guilty to three counts of transferring criminal property and 10 counts of converting criminal property.

Sentencing him, Judge Fitton told Bevan, of Orchid Court, Ty Canol, he had been “driven by greed”.

After arriving back in the UK in 2013, he turned his attention to his mother.

Mrs Bevan, who died last year in her seventies, was persuaded by her son to part with her money after he lied to her that he was going to invest it.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how he pocketed the cash after she wrote him a cheque.

He was found guilty of theft by a jury following a trial.