A businessman who defrauded over £ 100million in Britain’s biggest tax evasion has been jailed for another ten years.
Michael Richards was one of five co-conspirators convicted of defrauding government revenue in 2017.
The environmentalist has been ordered to pay back £ 11million of his ill-gotten gains through a bogus ‘green’ investment scheme, which has seen celebrities defraud £ 107million.
The 59-year-old used his share of the money to buy a house in East Sussex.
As a result, the former Oxbridge student has had ten years added to his 11-year prison sentence he is serving.
The group – which all went to universities in Oxford or Cambridge – laundered the proceeds of the scam around the world, hiding funds in accounts in China, the British Virgin Islands, Greece and Switzerland .
The fraudsters used their former positions as conductors of the Vienna Philharmonic, lawyer and investment banker, to convince wealthy investors that the money would be spent on research and development of carbon credits.
They have attracted over £ 65million investment in the program, but only £ 16million has been spent on tree planting.
Instead, the group stole £ 20million from investors’ money, with Michael Richards spending his stake in a £ 2.7million house in East Sussex and property in Dubai, as well as 32,000 pounds in jewelry.
A total of 730 investors have joined the program, including celebrities such as comedians, sports stars and relatives of politicians.
Two years after their conviction, the CPS’s Proceeds of Crime division successfully asked the court to repay Richards just under £ 10million, which rose to £ 11.1million with interest.
After paying back just over £ 30,000, the Crown Prosecution Service sued him again for not paying the full amount and asked for the activation of an additional prison sentence.
At Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, the request was granted and his original sentence nearly doubled.
Adrian Foster, head of the CPS Proceeds of Crime Division, said: “We worked with HMRC to make sure that he did not profit from the proceeds of his crime, but he only paid back a pittance. .
“Even when fraudsters are convicted and convicted, the CPS will continue to prosecute them for the money they owe, or they risk remaining in prison for many years.”
Richards was initially sentenced to a total of 11 years in prison and disqualified from being a corporate director.
Fraudster Evdoros Demetriou, 82, was sentenced to nine years in addition to six years in prison in July after failing to pay back £ 4.6million.
In total, the five offenders were asked to repay £ 20.6million, the CPS said.
Robert Gold, 53, was sentenced to 11 years in prison and banned from being a company director.
Rodney Whiston-Dew, 70, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and disqualified as a business manager.
Jonathan Anwyl, 47, was sentenced to five and a half years in prison.
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This notice was published: 2021-08-20 13:18:18