A businessman who swindled £500,000 of taxpayers’ cash in order to build a mansion the size of Buckingham Palace in his native Pakistan has been ordered to pay back £2.2 million.
Mohammed Suleman Khan, 42, lived a life of luxury at the expense of the UK taxpayer after he dodged paying tax and national insurance for nine years.
The 42-year-old fraudster used the illegal money to begin building a sprawling £2.5 million property that police found using Google Earth.
A court heard he claimed he was making £40,000 a year as a debt collector, but in reality was taking in at least £300,000 per annum.
Khan – who is known as “The General” in criminal circles – pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue and was jailed for four years in April last year.
Now he has faced a proceeds of crime hearing at Liverpool Crown Court and was ordered to pay £2,209,090 within six months. If he fails to hand over the cash, he faces a further 10 years in prison.
Detective Inspector Andy Bannister, from West Midlands Police, said: “Mohammed Suleman Khan at no point in the investigation co-operated or provided credible evidence of his income.
“In making this order, his honour Judge Menary QC concluded that Mohammed Suleman Khan had benefitted from a criminal lifestyle to the amount of £2,209,090.
“This verdict further confirms that those convicted of a criminal offence are liable in certain circumstances for the confiscation of all their assets when no serious injustice is found.”
The original tax fraud case heard Khan lived in a gated £500,000 house in Moseley, Birmingham, and drove a BMW but had no obvious job. Neighbours reported him to police over suspicions he did not “look like a businessman”.
Detectives then found audacious plans to build a multi-million pound estate in his native country – complete with a library, private cinema, servant quarters and guard rooms.
Despite not declaring his earnings, fraud investigators worked out that in order to fund such a lifestyle they would be in excess of £300,000 a year.
Khan had spent £893,000 so far on his mansion under construction in the Attock region of Pakistan, meaning it was estimated his total UK earnings were in excess of £1.1 million.
This meant that during his time in Britain, he had managed to avoid paying £445,264 worth of national insurance and tax.
The proceeds hearing also imposed a 10-year financial reporting order on Khan, which means he must make a report to police every six months identifying his assets. Failure to provide details of his dealings could lead to more prison time.
source: The Telegraph