A convicted fraudster who was forced to repay more than £1million to victims of a property scam has now been ordered to pay £1.6million in tax on his earnings from drug dealing.
Former night club boss Gary Robb, aged 54, was ordered to repay £1.3m last year after he defrauded 57 victims into buying properties in a northern Cyprus development. Not a single house in the Amaranta Valley was completed by his firm AGA Developments.
In last year’s landmark civil recovery action the National Crime Agency (NCA) used the 2002 Proceeds of Crime Act to take the money from the scammer and have it returned to his victims.
Using tax powers under the act, the NCA has now successfully argued that Robb was liable for £1.6million made up of tax assessments, penalties, national insurance and unpaid interest on his income from drug dealing.
In 1997 Robb fled to Cyprus after allowing his nightclub, the Colosseum in Sunderland, to be used to supply cocaine, amphetamine and cannabis.
In 2009 he was forcibly removed to the United Kingdom, where he was arrested, convicted and in 2010 sentenced to five years imprisonment.
After serving a year he was extradited to Cyprus under a European Arrest Warrant and was jailed for 11 months for illegally using the development land.
Following last year’s ruling at the Royal Courts of Justice Donald Toon, director of the NCA’s Economic Crime Command, said the agency did everything it could to deprive crooks of assets won from criminality.
Today, he said: “The NCA is tenacious in using every legal avenue available to hit crooks where it hurts.
“In this case we have used our unique tax powers under part six of the Proceeds of Crime Act to pursue Robb for his profits.
“It might seem unusual that a drug dealer can be penalised for not paying tax and interest on his earnings but this is a powerful and important tool to reduce the funds which can otherwise be diverted into supporting further criminality.”
The NCA alleged that Robb received between £5,000 and £10,000 per week from the drugs trade at the Colosseum which was then spirited out to Cyprus.
Robb appealed against the NCA’s tax assessments and penalty determination but it was dismissed by a tribunal on the 16th September.