A Jerseyman accused of engineering a $2.2billion tax avoidance scam that allegedly fleeced a Crocodile Dundee star out of $34million, has been released from jail after the case to prosecute him was left in tatters.
Philip Jepson Egglishaw (63), a former accountant and Hautlieu pupil, was arrested in Italy on 3 May following a 13-year bid to prosecute him by the Australian authorities.
The former financial advisor had been living in Switzerland but was detained as he tried to cross the border into Italy, triggering an Interpol red notice issued in 2013 by Australian authorities for fraud and money laundering charges.
They believe that he was the kingpin in a tax evasion network worth more than a billion dollars that counted several high-profile Australians among its alleged victims.
During his subsequent two-month stay in a Como prison, Mr Egglishaw vowed to fight extradition over the 10 financial crime charges. But now it seems he won’t have to, after being released on 31st July when the prosecution’s case was ruled in Milan District Court as being out of time, Australia's Daily Telegraph reported.
Pictured: Paul Hogan, star of the Crocodile Dundee films, who says that Mr Egglishaw may have taken up to $34million of his film fortunes.
It appears to finally bring the case that has been running more than a decade to a close.
The Australian Tax Office began investigating tax planning schemes - codenamed Project Wickenby - in the early noughties. That led to a Federal Police raid on Mr Egglishaw’s luxury hotel room in Melbourne in 2004, in which they seized his laptop containing vital information to securing the convictions of 46 people involved.
Mr Egglishaw provided financial advice to many Australians throughout the years, but most high-profile of his alleged victims was Paul Hogan, star of the Crocodile Dundee films. He was accused of stealing the $34million of the actor’s fortunes, which had been held in an account held in Lausanne, Switzerland and run by Strachans - a formerly Jersey-based company with which Mr Egglishaw was involved. Mr Egglishaw continues to deny any wrongdoing, but the news has earned him the nickname of ‘The Crocodile Dundee Tax Fraudster’ in the international press.
Pictured: Mr Egglishaw may have avoided arrest despite the international arrest warrant against him because he only passed through Schengen zones.
Following the collapse of the case against him, Mr Egglishaw will be able to return to his life of luxury with his wife and children across Switzerland, the French Riviera and Monaco. It is believed that, despite the Interpol red alert, Mr Egglishaw avoided detection by law enforcement authorities because he only passed through Schengen zones where he may not have needed to produce his passport. When he did, those officials may not have run his details through the system.
Since being released from jail, reports say that Mr Egglishaw has already been spotted driving his $277k white Bentley convertible in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
His release means that he is unlikely to ever face Australian courts over the charges, which could have otherwise seen him jailed for up to 10 years according to his Interpol alert. At the time of writing, that alert remains active.
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