An octogenarian Oxford University alumnus has been sent back to jail after he failed to pay a confiscation order.
Evdoros Demetriou was ordered to pay back nearly £4.7m ($6.4m, €5.4m) for his “ill-gotten gains from a fake ‘green’ investment scheme”, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.
He was convicted, in November 2017, of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.
Demetriou and four others offered a ‘green’ tax-efficient investment scheme to wealthy investors. The group of five was ordered to pay £20.6m in total.
They are all Oxbridge graduates who used their former positions as a conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, a solicitor and merchant banker to persuade investors to put their money in the scheme.
Investors were told the funds would have been spent on research and development into carbon credits, but only £16m out of the £65m collected was actually spent on planting trees.
The CPS said that the group stole £20m and laundered it via bank accounts and secret trusts to spend it on luxury properties in London, Australia and Dubai, as well as hide some in offshore investments.
They also failed to pay around £6.5m in tax.
In December 2019, a confiscation order of nearly £4.7m was made against Demetriou and he was given three months to pay it.
In the 16 months following the issuing of the order, he only managed to pay around £103,000.
As of 22 July 2021, the confiscation order was outstanding by nearly £4.6m and, subsequently, Demetriou was ordered to serve his full nine-year sentence on top of his original six-year term.
The CPS told International Adviser the two sentences will run concurrently.
Adrian Foster, of the CPS, said: “Demetriou was a sophisticated fraudster who abused his influence and targeted wealthy victims in a callous manner.
“He went on to hide his assets but comprehensive and diligent work by the CPS and the HM Revenue & Customs resulted in a confiscation order to recover his ill-gotten gains. He made no attempt to repay the vast majority of his confiscation order and where we can robustly enforce, we will not hesitate to do so, by applying to the court for the default sentence to be activated.”
The other four people are:
- Michael Richards and Robert Gold, convicted in November 2017, sentenced to 11 years in prison and disqualified from being company directors;
- Rodney Whiston-Dew, convicted in November 2017, sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and banned from being a company director; and,
- Jonathan Anwyl, convicted in November 2017 and sentenced to five and a half years in prison.