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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 22:17 GMT 23:17 UK
Prescott accountant jailed again
John Prescott
Adewumni worked in John Prescott's department as a "troubleshooter"
An unqualified accountant jailed for stealing almost 1m from John Prescott's department has been jailed again for hiding stolen funds abroad.

Robert Adewunmi, 36, lied about his qualifications to work for the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

Adewunmi used a fictitious firm to siphon the cash. His wife Tami, was given six months for helping him.

The Berkshire man who admitted contempt of court was jailed for an additional 18 months at Southwark Crown Court.

After he was sentenced last March, police found he had spent the months leading up to his trial ignoring a restraint order, so he could arrange the sale of some luxury Florida villas.

It seems you are an even more dishonest and devious person than I thought
Judge Christopher Hardy

On Friday, Adewunmi admitted contempt of court by breaching the order.

His admission comes after he admitted fraudulent trading and money laundering, between September 2003 and September 2004, during the trial.

Judge Christopher Hardy, said: "It seems you are an even more dishonest and devious person than I thought when I came to sentence you in March last year."

The court heard the father-of-two created an imaginary colleague, and then plundered a Civil Resistance Directorate account established for supplies in the wake of a disaster such as a terrorist attack.

The gambling addict used some of the money to buy expensive cars, "build up an impressive property portfolio either side of the Atlantic and squander a small fortune on family portraits".

Hidden accounts

Adewunmi lived in a "luxuriously furnished" four-bedroom detached home in Gilmour Close, Slough.

The court heard the 100,000 he got for one of them was either gambled away in casinos or given away to friends.

Police, who followed a "complex and tortuous money trail" to four bank accounts in Cyprus, which had been emptied of more than 30,000, believe other overseas accounts remain undiscovered.

A further six months was imposed concurrently for two local authority benefit fraud offences Adewunmi admitted carrying out before the thefts from Mr Prescott's office.

He was also ordered to pay Slough Borough Council 7,401 compensation, as well as a 422,268 confiscation order relating to his crimes while a civil servant.

Adewunmi was also warned if the latter was not forthcoming within six months a three-year sentence would be added to everything else.

Earlier his wife was told to hand over "realisable assets" of 244,273 - also within six months - or go back to prison for a further year.

Prescott accountant sent to jail
10 Mar 06 |  UK Politics

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