The husband of Scottish Tory peer Michelle Mone is facing the possibility of more than five years in prison if he is found guilty of fraud charges in Spain.
Doug Barrowman has been charged with crimes including corporate tax evasion, and is one of seven British businessmen that Spanish authorities want to put behind bars for their involvement in a business deal in 2008.
Spanish prosecutors allege that a payment was made fraudulently to UK firm Axis Ventura in 2008 to avoid paying around £436,000 in tax, and have demanded that the accused pay back the money to the Spanish Treasury.
The same invoice allowed the defendant to allegedly take millions out of another firm in which Barrowman was involved, the Spanish company B3 Cable Solutions Spain, which later went bankrupt in 2012, making 200 people jobless.
Axis Ventura had raised funds to buy B3, a cable factory near Santander, which went bankrupt in 2012.
Barrowman was a founder of Axis but left four months before the payment, although he admitted to having negotiated the deal for the payment and benefiting from the commissions paid to Axis.
The eight men have been accused of benefitting from an invoice for ‘fictitious services’ that was used to justify the allegedly fraudulent invoice.
His lawyers have said that the reason he was involved is because of his shares in B3 Cable Solutions.
Barrowman has denied the charges and his lawyers have said that he will ‘vigorously’ contest them in court.
He is due to stand trial in May 2021, and has previously been cleared of administrative wrongdoing in a civil court in relation to the same matter.
Prosecutors have confirmed that they will be seeking jail time for the seven businessmen if they can prove the cases against them next year.
This comes after Michelle Mone stepped down from the House of Lords earlier this month to attempt to clear her name after she was alleged to have secretly profited from a government PPE contract that she lobbied for during the pandemic.