Haverhill: Bus spotter must repay �11,000 after fraud

A SUFFOLK bus spotter who racked up an �11,000 bill for his employer while pursuing a hobby has six months to pay the money back.

Steven Curl, 46, carried out 3,000 vehicle checks with the DVLA while working for insurance giant AXA, costing the firm �3.75 a check.

Now he faces taking out an additional home loan to repay the �10.983.75 he defrauded.

A confiscation order was made against Curl at Ipswich Crown Court, which will force him to compensate AXA.

Should he fail to do so, he will have to serve a seven-month prison sentence.

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Recorder Simon Spence, QC, also told Curl to pay �1,200 in court costs. He must make the payments by July 11, or be in default.

He had worked for AXA for 18 years, but lost his job when his bosses realised what he had been doing.

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In November, he was given a five-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and was told to carry out 200 hours unpaid community work.

Curl, of Pearmain Walk, Haverhill, admitted one offence of fraud relating to the abuse of his position as an AXA employee by conducting transactions with the DVLA for his own use, between December 2007 and October 2009.

The offences were discovered after the DVLA queried why Curl, who worked in AXA’s claims handling department, in Haverhill, had undertaken a specific search.

The court previously heard Curl was a management committee member for a public service vehicle group of enthusiasts.

Curl used the information from the checks to complete records on the vehicles for newsletters.

He was not paid for the information, but had received �250 for each newsletter to which he contributed.

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