How many of us would spend 4 years banged up for £2m.
The only catch is that you have it the previous 4 years before you're sent to prison.
The default sentence is not offered as an 'alternative' to paying the confiscation order. The default sentence can be activated to 'encourage' payment if the defendant has failed to pay on time. But if he serves the default sentence the amount outstanding remains payable (together with interest) and can be collected as a debt by all the normal means of debt collection (but not by the imposition of a further period of imprisonment).
Do not assume that Mr Charalambous made a 'profit' of as much as the £2,462,175 he has been ordered to pay. That is likely to be a figure based on his 'available amount' (i.e. gross assets less secured liabilities) rather than his 'profit'.
Apparently he claimed (on behalf of his clients) £11m in fraudulent tax refunds and charged them 15% or so in fees whilst passing on the balance to them. In confiscation terms that means he 'obtained' a benefit of £11m (although his 'profit' would only be £1.65m or so) - but the confiscation order would normally be limited by reference to his 'available amount' (and so is for £2.4m rather than £11m).
He was sentenced to 8 years for the tax frauds and faces a further 8 year default sentence. If we assume he does not pay anything off the confiscation order and that (as is typically the case) he is released on licence half way through his sentence then he will be released after 8 years inside (i.e. half of the 8 for the fraud plus half of the 8 for the default).
I am told prison time involves many long hours sitting around in a cell and that the food is uninspiring. There is also a lack of female company! So I think I will stay outside.
P.S. You might be interested in some of the discussions we have in the Money Laundering and Crime Discussion Group.
surprised I got any comments at all from this thread.
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