Most wanted tax fugitive jailed for 11 years
One of the UK's most wanted tax fugitives, Michael Voudouri, has been jailed for 11-and-a-half years for money laundering and absconding.
Voudouri, originally from Bridge of Allan, Stirling, had pleaded guilty to laundering £11.6m linked to a VAT fraud in October 2012 and was let out on bail. In November the same year, he absconded the UK for Northern Cyprus.
But HMRC officers found him there in January this year, and he was arrested and brought back to the UK for sentencing in May.
In Edinburgh High Court last week he was sentenced to 10 years in jail for money laundering and 18 months in jail for absconding, to run consecutively.
Voudouri had previously been jailed for four years in 2004 for his involvement in a tax fraud, in which he reclaimed VAT on fake Europe-wide business transactions.
Following this conviction, HMRC carried out a money laundering investigation that traced profits from the fraud to bank accounts in Greece, Cyprus, Switzerland, USA, the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere.
The money was then transferred back into bank accounts in the UK and invested in property and businesses in Scotland.
Voudouri featured on HMRC's list of 'most wanted' tax fugitives in August 2012. He is the third from the list to be "brought to justice" in 2014, according to HMRC.
Jennie Granger, director general, enforcement and compliance at HMRC, said that the body "really appreciates" the role the public and law enforcement agencies play in helping them bring fugitives to justice.