Identity of UK's biggest fare dodger revealed

By Melanie Hall

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

The identity of an executive who dodged more than 42,000 ($83,000) in rail fares has been revealed as it emerged that his actions had led to an investigation by London's financial watchdog.

Jonathan Burrows, thought to be Britain's biggest fare dodger, has resigned from his job as a fund manager after being suspended while the Financial Conduct Authority examines his behaviour.

The 44-year-old hoped to keep his name secret and avoid prosecution by quickly reimbursing the money he had avoided paying for his daily commute from his home in Stonegate, East Sussex, to central London. He repaid the fares, accrued over five years, within three days of being caught. However, he was suspended from his job as managing director at BlackRock, an asset management firm, when he told his bosses, who knew nothing of his fare dodging, that he was under investigation by the regulator.

In April staff at Cannon St station spotted Burrows trying to pass through a ticket barrier having paid just 7.20 on his Oyster travel card - the standard penalty imposed when one fails to tap in at the start of a journey.

His commute should have cost him 21.50 a day, without a season ticket. It subsequently emerged that Burrows had cheated Southeastern trains out of 42,550. The news came to the attention of the FCA, with which Burrows was registered. It started an investigation over concerns that his actions suggested he was unsuitable for City work.

His identity was finally revealed by the Daily Mail at the weekend. He owns a 1 million house near Wadhurst, East Sussex, and his home near Stonegate, featuring hectares of landscaped grounds, which he bought for 2.7 million in 2011. He has a wife, Louise, and young child.

Jonathan Mullen, a spokesman for BlackRock, said Burrows has left. "What he is alleged to have done is totally contrary to our values and principles." When approached about the case by a newspaper, Burrows said: "Dunno what you're talking about."

- Daily Telegraph UK

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