£75 Million Assets Frozen: Michelle Mone and Husband Navigate Ongoing Fraud Probe
Prosecutors have taken the significant step of freezing or imposing restrictions on approximately £75 million worth of assets belonging to Michelle Mone and her husband, Doug Barrowman.
This development unfolds in the midst of a probe into allegations of fraud surrounding a PPE firm linked to the couple, established during the pandemic.
Consensual Asset Restrictions: £75 Million in the Spotlight
Michelle Mone, also known as ‘Baroness Bra,’ and her husband Doug Barrowman have reportedly not opposed the Crown Prosecution Service’s (CPS) application to impose restrictions on their assets.
The restrained assets include a Belgravia townhouse, an Isle of Man estate, and 15 bank accounts, totaling around £75 million.
The court order, enacted under the Proceeds of Crime Act, originated from the National Crime Agency (NCA)’s ongoing investigation into PPE Medpro.
PPE Medpro and VIP Pandemic Priority Lane: Unraveling the Controversy
PPE Medpro, a company owned by a consortium led by Doug Barrowman, has been under NCA scrutiny since May 2021 due to suspected criminal activity related to its procurement of PPE contracts during the pandemic.
The controversy escalated when it was revealed that the firm secured a place in the VIP pandemic priority lane for government contracts based on a recommendation by Tory peer Michelle Mone.
Initially denying any connections, Mone later admitted to misleading the press about her links with the company.
Assets Under Restriction: From Townhouse to Isle of Man Estate
The frozen assets, totaling at least £75 million, encompass a range of properties and bank accounts. Among these are a Belgravia townhouse (4 Chester Square), the Ballakew Estate on the Isle of Man (raided by the NCA in April 2022), and nine properties in Glasgow’s Park Circus area, owned through Isle of Man-based companies.
Financial Times Report: Details of Asset Restrictions Unveiled
Details of the court order, executed under the Proceeds of Crime Act, were initially reported by the Financial Times.
The report specifies conditions, such as the potential sale of 4 Chester Square, provided the CPS is informed, and the proceeds are held in a UK bank account.
While the Glasgow properties cannot be sold, the order allows for unrestricted rental income.
Mone and Barrowman Respond: Consensual Process and Proving Innocence
A spokesperson for Michelle Mone and Doug Barrowman stated that the court order resulted from a consensual process involving negotiations with the CPS.
The assets’ restrictions are seen as a means for the couple to expedite the process of proving their innocence, and they did not contest the application.
Interim Order and Ongoing Investigations: A Complex Legal Landscape
An interim order, no longer in effect, included entities in the British Virgin Islands and Isle of Man-registered LM Yachts, which owns the sailing yacht Lady M. PPE Medpro’s troubles continue as an NCA probe alleges the delivery of faulty PPE to the government during the Covid pandemic.
Investigations into Baroness Mone’s role in procuring contracts and legal proceedings by the Department of Health and Social Care add further complexity to the situation.
December 2023: Admissions and Apologies
At the end of 2023, Michelle Mone and her husband admitted that PPE Medpro’s contracts resulted in a £60 million profit for the company.
Barrowman acknowledged being the ‘ultimate beneficiary,’ despite previous omissions in UK Companies House listings.
Mone, who took an indefinite leave of absence from the House of Lords, apologized for denying her links to the company but maintained her innocence in a defiant BBC interview.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn