Absconded fraudster ordered to pay £37 million
A high-net-worth fraudster who skipped his trial and fled to Dubai has been ordered to pay over £37 million - and faces ten years in prison if he fails to pay.
Abdullah Allad, 41, was convicted in his absence of offences of conspiracy to cheat the government’s revenue (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs - HMRC) and conspiracy to launder money, in a prosecution conducted by the CPS Specialist Fraud Division after a complex criminal investigation by HMRC.
Allad played a major role in this missing trader fraud, which involves the theft of Value Added Tax from the government. Allad was part of a conspiracy to use a network of companies and a huge number of transactions to cover up the theft of VAT. The term "missing trader" is used because the fraudster has gone missing with the VAT.
Allad took steps to distance himself from the legal proceedings, fleeing abroad to avoid the trial. Given these circumstances, the CPS Specialist Proceeds of Crime Division applied to have the confiscation heard in his absence. The judge in this case accepted CPS arguments to proceed with the hearing because all reasonable steps had been taken to make Allad aware of the hearing and it was appropriate to proceed under section 27 POCA and that it was fair to do so.
Abdullah Allad has been issued with a confiscation order of £37,667,622.
Manjula Nayee, Specialist Prosecutor of CPS Proceeds of Crime Division, said: "Despite Mr Allad being absent at the hearing, we felt it was important to go ahead to ensure the appropriate order was in place and could be enforced. Mr Allad has defrauded the taxpayer of over £37 million, monies that could be spent on the NHS and other vital public services.
“Where we can take money from people who have profited from crime, we will not hesitate to do so. Last year the CPS recovered over £100 million, stopping hundreds of criminals benefitting from their ill-gotten gains.”
Notes to editors
- Abdullah Allah (DOB: 29th March 1979) was found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the revenue and money laundering
- Manjula Nayee is a Specialist Prosecutor for CPS Proceeds of Crime (CPS POC), which is a specialist division dedicated to asset recovery
- CPS applied for an order under section 27 of the Proceeds of Crime Act, which allows for a confiscation hearing to happen in the absence of a defendant
- Where a defendant refuses to pay their Confiscation Order in a timely way, CPS Proceeds of Crime can invite the court to impose an additional default sentence on them of up to 14 years' imprisonment. The full debt continues to be in force until it is paid and interest is charged against it at 8% (the civil judgement debt rate).