£65m tycoons receive state pay-out

£65m tycoons receive state pay-out


A pair who owned a multi-million property portfolio, including a Hyde Park apartment and tower blocks in Dubai, have had their legal bills - totalling more than £100,000 - paid by the taxpayer because of a controversial government rule, the Evening Standard reported

Syed Ahmed and Shakeel Ahmad were tried for an elaborate fraud - from which they both made £16 million - and were subsequently found guilty, yet allegedly made “ludicrous” claims of poverty in order to receive legal aid.


The title reported that the pair owned more than 20 properties, in both the UK and the Gulf, and that their other assets included a company valued at £40 million, two further companies with £25 million of profits and a Jersey-based trust fund. 


According to the Evening Standard, the property portfolio included: a £2.2 million home in Middlesex, a £4.5  million apartment overlooking Hyde Park, a £1.5  million home in Buckinghamshire, a number of other British homes and two tower blocks in Dubai.


The fraud involved a complex VAT scam and, in one particular instance, Ahmed and Ahmad fraudulently traded computer chips to make £12.6 million in just 18 days.


However, the pair were awarded legal aid – the exact sum of which cannot be disclosed as it is deemed “sensitive personal data” - after they claimed they did not own any assets, instead insisting that they were owned by a network of trusts and other companies.


A controversial rule means that the frozen assets of individuals on trial cannot be used to pay defence bills, intended to ensure that if the accused are convicted the full proceeds of any criminal activity can be confiscated, the title further reported.


Commenting on the pair’s trial, a crown court judge said: “Both defendants are articulate, intelligent and educated. It is clear that they were and are financially sophisticated

... they amassed a fortune over a relatively short period of time.


“They are both unscrupulous and deeply mendacious, particularly about their assets. The suggestion advanced by both of them that they are now penniless is frankly ludicrous.


“The truth is that, on any view, there are other hidden assets which they have failed to disclose. I should add that I formed my firm view that they were both complete liars when it came to revealing their assets from my observation of them throughout the confiscation hearing (including during their evidence), quite independently of the fact that they were convicted fraudsters.”


The pair have failed to repay any of their gains and have been given an extra ten-year ‘default’ sentence on top of their seven year jail term issued in 2007.



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    Tom Atkins

    What is the famous English saying. CRIME DOES NOT PAY. Once again all law abiding British tax payers , pay for the criminal activity to continue. Lock them up and throw away the key so that they cannot spend a penny of their fraudulant gains. Disgusting

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