THE ex-lover of Holby City star Laila Rouass has been jailed for nine years in a £250m VAT fraud.
Nasir Khan, 39, who lived in Gibraltar, was found guilty of allowing criminal gangs to launder money through a string of his companies.
Khan who divided his time between a flat at Atlantic Suites and a six million euro villa in Marbella, ‘deliberately cheated the public purse,’ heard London’s Southwark Crown Court.
The businessman who dated Rouass, also a contestant in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009, managed to amass a fortune of 50m euros and was regularly seen driving luxury sportscars or in his £40,000 yacht moored.
The lynchpin was able to make huge amounts of money in VAT rebates in a clever mobile phone scam.
The son of a Surrey bus driver, he borrowed £2,000 from friends and was named the Bank of England’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year when his mobile phone company The Accessory People took off in the 1990s.
At the age of 29, he was valued at £45million, but as the accessory market declined around 2001, his company began a fraudulent wholesale trade in mobile phones, boosting turnover from £13million in 2002 to £219million in 2003.
The scam involved bogus UK companies buying high value mobile phones in Europe.
The phones were then moved through a number of British firms before being sold back to Europe.
Through a series of rapid transactions, often taking place in less than a day, the fraudsters were able to exploit UK tax laws and claim vast sums in VAT rebates.
Khan used his company and other firms, including Direct Accessories Ltd, to launder the cash.
Michael Parroy QC, prosecuting, said: “The loss of tax revenue ran into millions of pounds and those involved made a lot of money.”
Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: “Quite why somebody who had been as successful as you would decide to become involved in fraud I very much doubt this court will ever know.
“I suspect the enormous profits which were available in the fraud were too great for you to resist, the figures speak for themselves.”