A property tycoon locked in a divorce battle over his lost £400 million fortune has been made bankrupt by the taxman, a High Court judge was told.
Scot Young, 47, claimed he was declared bankrupt by Customs and Excise this month over unpaid taxes of almost £2 million, as his estranged wife, Michelle, saw her bid for £500,000 in backdated maintenance payments turned down.
Mrs Justice Black made an order in December that Mr Young should pay £27,500 a month maintenance to his wife, who claims he has hidden his money to avoid paying her. Sarah Phipps, representing Mrs Young, told the judge today that her client had not received any maintenance payments under the order.
The court heard that Mrs Young, 45, of Regent’s Park, faced losing her home, was down to her last £13,000, owed £23,000 in school fees for the couple’s two teenage daughters and was in danger of being dropped by her solicitors as she has a £660,000 unpaid legal bill.
Miss Phipps asked the judge to make an order backdating the maintenance to July 2008, two months after Mr Young stopped paying his wife. Mrs Justice Black declined, but said the issue could be raised at a full hearing next month.
Mr Young, who represented himself today, said after the hearing that all his financial affairs would be in the hands of a bankruptcy trustee with whom he would be “very happy” to co-operate.
The tycoon, who claims his only source of income is handouts from his wealthy friends, said: “I have battled for some years and hopefully this will bring closure and allow me to move on. I have every intention of looking after the children and my wife as best as I possibly can.
“She must allow me to get back into business and stop the media circus surrounding the case which is damaging to my children.”
In a statement issued before today’s hearing, Mrs Young said for three years her husband had refused to give full and frank disclosure of his assets.
“While the fixer’ to Russian oligarchs and British billionaires claims to be penniless he still has the means to retain some of Britain’s finest legal representation,” she said.
Mrs Justice Black, giving her ruling, said Mrs Young’s legal team must now consider whether to allow the trustee in bankruptcy to investigate her husband’s financial affairs “rather than proceeding to incur further costs by doing so themselves”.