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Five jailed for £100m tax scheme scam exploiting celebrities

Five men have been jailed for a £100 million tax scheme which conned hundreds of celebrities.

Five jailed for £100m tax scheme scam exploiting celebrities

Five men have been jailed for a £100 million tax scheme which conned hundreds of celebrities.

The scheme, which is believed to be the biggest tax fraud in UK history, used ‘ethical’ environmental projects to convince investors they could reduce their tax bills by investing in reforesting projects in Brazil and China.

A total of 730 investors signed up to the scheme, including hundreds of celebrities, induced by the offer of an immediate large return - a £20,000 investment would result in a successful claim for £32,000 in tax relief.

The scheme was led by 55-year old Michael Richards, an environmental scientist and Cambridge graduate.

Jonathan Anwl, 44, the son of a retired Crown Court judge, was another key figure in the scheme.

The defendants set up a number companies around the world, which were marketed on the basis they were independent of each other and acting in their own interests.

However, prosecutors found they were actually under the control of the defendants, who were cycling cash between them to create an illusion of lending.

Richards is said to have made £7.4 million from the fraud. He is reported to have spent £32,000 on an engagement ring, £1.7 million on property and also gave a £20,000 donation to Cambridge University to have a plaque in memory of his father erected at Gonville & Caius College.

Meanwhile Anwyl, a former Eton student, made £1.6 million from the scam and used £788,000 to pay off the mortgage on a property in Australia he owned with his wife.

The offshore structures were set up by former president of the Rotary Club in London, Rodney Whiston-Dew, 67, who worked as a solicitor.

Meanwhile former music industry executive and business consultant Eudoros Demetriou, 78, used his contacts to drum up interest in the scheme among celebrities.

Entrepreneur Robert Gold, 49, was described as second in command on the scheme and made £5.3 million.

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4 comments so far. Why not have your say?


Nov 14, 2017 at 00:51

It sees it is safer to put our one in one of the recognised tax havens in British dependencies, like our top people do.

report this

John Hicks

Nov 14, 2017 at 16:35

9 month trial, 5 million documents. What an exhausting prospect an appeal would be.

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Nov 18, 2017 at 12:30

How long were the prison sentences we are not told! One week or two?

The scandal is not that there are aristocratic crooks, but that there are complex schemes deliberately left for rich people to exploit. It is glaringly obvious that anything very complex is a tax dodge and It is our law makers who should be sent to jail for creating these loopholes.

Furthermore, any one convicted of tax fraud should be additionally billed with the cost of the investigation and the higher the social position of the crook, the stiffer the sentence should be, for setting a bad example.

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Nov 20, 2017 at 13:00

Details of the custodial sentences would have been helpful. Who is responsible for the back-taxes? the advisors or the investors?

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