ROBERT BRYAN SUCCESSFULLY PROSECUTES MAN WHO STOLE OVER £2.5 MILLION FROM CHRISTIAN CHARITY
13 March 2018
Robert Bryan recently concluded a case at Luton Crown Court where the defendant was charged with stealing £2.54 million from Morris Cerullo World Evangelism, a Christian charity. Accountant Stephen Ashton, 62, from Dunstable, had worked for the charity for 16 years. He had been living a double life whereby he told his mistress his wife was dead when she was very much alive and living in Dunstable. The court heard he spent £500,000 on his mistress' home, with £106,000 on a bespoke horse box for her and went on luxury hotel trips in New York and London.
Robert Bryan told the court: "He abused his position of trust over many years by falsifying invoices and accounts to pay for his personal affairs, his lifestyle and that of others." This wasn’t the first offence by Ashton. In March 1992, he had been jailed for three years for 11 counts of theft by an employee and two of false accounting. "There was degree of similarity between that offence and what he has done now," Robert Bryan said. Ashton was sentenced to 67 months; a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to try and recover the charity’s loss will follow.
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