Businessman has six months to pay £100K tax bill
A FAILED Cotswold businessman will have six months to pay back a hefty tax bill of £105,000.
David O’razi, 51, from Lancaster Drive, Upper Rissington, failed to pay HM Revenue and Customs an £81,000 tax bill in 2008, after Inland Revenue obtained a court judgement.
Interest meant the bill rose to £105,000 in five years.
But instead of paying it back, he sold his £785,000 home in West Chiltington, West Sussex. He paid off his outstanding debts, and fled overseas with £160,000.
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But after living life of leisure, he returned to the UK with only £1.05 in one account and an overdraft of £187 in another.
Prosecutor Nigel Fryer told the court yesterday he had transferred £80,117 to his wife’s account rather than pay the tax bill.
As O’razi’s wife watched, defence lawyer Adrian Amer said O’razi had not told his employers he was on trial, something His Honour Judge Jamie Tabor QC branded “stupid”.
Mr Amer also said O’razi was paid more than £57,000 a year, and was already taking steps to pay the tax bill.
Mr Amer added: “My client has had to readjust to his new life style, and brought his standard of living right down. They are now living in rented accommodation and he is working towards paying the bill.”
Judge Tabor said: “If it is more hot air, you will lose everything in six months, your job, and you might go to prison.
“It is very cynical you transferred the money to your wife instead of paying back your creditors, which is Revenue and Customs.
“That money belongs to the British public.
“You spent the money, and quickly. There is no doubt a man such as yourself is worthy of a sentence in prison.
“But if you pay all the money back, I suppose it could be a suspended sentence. It is your responsibility.”