£1.6 MILLION CONFISCATION ORDER FOR TAX CHEAT BARRISTER
24 Oct 2003 11:45 AM
Michael Richard Stannard, a 54-year-old barrister, has been ordered
to pay £1,678,954 following an extended confiscation hearing at
Southwark Crown Court. Stannard, of Moulin de Beaufils, Hambye,
Normandy in France was given 12 months in which to satisfy the Order.
If he fails to do so he risks adding 4 years to the 4-1/2 years
prison sentence he received at Southwark Crown Court back in February
2001 where, after a four month trial, he was convicted on two counts
of fraud committed between 1 October 1992 and 31 October 1997.
The fraud was one of claiming a deduction against profits of two
companies Bonnington Shipping Ltd and Fairflight Leasing Ltd for
interest paid in advance in respect of debenture bonds when no such
transactions had taken place.
The Confiscation Order was based on the pecuniary advantage that
Stannard obtained through the two companies whereby they had not paid
the tax due on their true profits and not on the lower figure of the
sums retained and used by Stannard. In a written statement handed
down at the confiscation hearing, His Honour Judge Fingret stated
that: "Had this fraud succeeded (Stannard) would have been better off
to the tune of £2,129,649 plus interest - of £969,381, a benefit of
A Confiscation Order made in the lower of two figures takes into
account the benefit and the Defendant's realisable assets. HHJ
Fingret identified assets either belong to Stannard or which he had
gifted to others. Some assets were held by offshore companies, owned
by a discretionary Liechtenstein trust.
The judge found that there was:
"Clear evidence that Rupert Trust is or was controlled by
(Stannard)". He continued that Stannard: "Cannot hide behind the
Rupert Trust in these proceedings".
Assets of the Rupert Trust were thereby treated as Stannard's,
together with sums identified as being gifted by him to others. The
Judge calculated the realisable assets to be £1,678,954 and he
ordered that this amount should be paid within 12 months.
1. The Criminal Justice Act 1988 provides for a default sentence to
be made in addition to the sentence of the crime if the confiscation
is not satisfied within the time specified. If Stannard fails to pay
the £1,678,954 within 12 months a default sentence of 4 years will
2. Michael Richard Stannard, is a Tax Barrister of the Middle Temple
having been called to the Bar in 1973. He is also a member of the
Gibraltar Bar. An appeal by him against conviction and sentence were
dismissed on 13 February 2002.
London WC2R 1LB
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