Wealthy money launderer returns to face sentence

A millionaire Scottish money launderer, who pleaded guilty to handling £11.6m of criminal proceeds but who absconded before being sentenced and fled to Northern Cyprus, has been extradited and returned to the UK to face sentencing in court

Michael Voudouri, originallyof Stirling, pleaded guilty in October 2012 to laundering over £11.6m linked to a VAT fraud. He was due in court for sentencing in November 2012 but failed to attend, after which an international warrant for his arrest was issued.

HMRC has now announced that Voudouri has been extradited from Northern Cyprus and arrived at Edinburgh Airport in the early hours of today. He will appear in court for sentencing shortly, and will also face further criminal proceedings.

David Odd, HMRC assistant director, criminal investigation, said: ‘Michael Voudouri made significant amounts of money from his criminal activities. He was involved in complex and organised money laundering over a long period and is now finally facing justice.’

Voudouri was jailed for four years in 2004 for his involvement in a tax fraud in which he claimed back VAT on false Europe-wide business transactions made by a Glasgow computer firm called Q-Tech as part of a carousel fraud.

HMRC subsequently launched a money laundering investigation which found that the profit from that fraud had been deposited into bank accounts in Greece, Cyprus, Switzerland, USA, the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere in an attempt to conceal its criminal origins.

The money was then transferred back into various bank accounts in the UK and invested in property and businesses in Scotland. Voudouri appeared in court in 2012, where he pleaded guilty and was released on bail. However, he the absconded to Northern Cyprus, while the trial against his two co-accused continued.

Pat Sweet |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2010-2021]

Pat Sweet was the former online reporter at Accountancy Daily and contributor to the monthly Accountancy magazine, pub...

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