The now 71-year-old tycoon fled to Cyprus three years after the Serious Fraud Office began an investigation into him and the company after it collapsed. He returned to the UK voluntarily to face trial in 2010, a calculated risk, which appears to have backfired.
The prosecution has cost around £3.3m over the last seven months. In his sentencing remarks, Mr Justice Holroyde said: ‘You were a wealthy man who stole out of pure greed’.
The conviction is a big victory for the SFO which has a history littered with botched investigations. No doubt Nadir will appeal the result, and his wife insists he is innocent, but the sentence comes on the back of 10 charges of theft. Prison looks likely for at least some of these, even if his appeal gets the sentence reduced.
Nadir is expected to be taken back to Belmarsh prison in London, where he has been in custody since Monday. His sentence will be served in an as yet undisclosed prison.