Asil Nadir, the former boss of Polly Peck, has told a court that he does not own any assets, does not have any cash, and has been relying on the generosity of friends and family to get by for some years. If you’re wondering how he’s still telling courts anything since he has just be jailed for 10 years, it’s because administrators from the now-defunct company are looking for compensation. Now that he has been found guilty of the fraud, the vultures are ready to pick at the carcass of the company.
Prosecuting lawyers are understandably riled by the claims that he has nothing to his name: describing it as a ‘sham’ and ‘an affront to common sense.’ They are convinced that despite being made to disclose his finances under a Financial Circumstance Order, Nadir has lied about just how much plunder he still has.
So, for the uninitiated, Nadir is in prison because back in the early ‘90s, he stole millions of pounds from his company shortly before it went bust, prompting the Serious Fraud Office to launch an investigation. Before anyone could get any cuffs on Nadir, he fled to Cyprus, with which the UK does not have an extradition agreement. He lived there for 17 years, before inexplicably returning to the UK in 2010 to face the charges against him. Just last month, the case came to a close with Nadir found guilty of several charges of theft totalling £29m, earning him a decade behind bars.
And here’s why the lawyers aren’t convinced. Apparently he has also been unclear about the whereabouts of a painting and some jewellery bought back in 1989 using money from his company. He has also been vague about the source of £500,000 per year to rent a swish Mayfair property in the two years before his trial (from 2010 onwards).
The investigators will be hoping to find a secret stash, but if Nadir really is stoney-broke then short of locking him up for even longer, there will be very little they can do...