A serial fraudster, who pillaged his dead business partner’s estate to live “the high life” before going on the run, has been ordered to hand over 'tainted' wealth including watches, jewellery and money held in a Swiss trust totalling over £322,000.
Russell Stephen King (60), who is also known by his self-given pseudonym ‘Lord Voldemort’, yesterday returned to the Royal Court following his conviction to find out he must surrender a total of £322,212.80 - or face a three-year extension to his prison sentence.
This figure was agreed between prosecution and defence counsel as part of a ‘confiscation order’ – an application brought by the Attorney General seeking to seize any assets found to have been funded by criminal activity.
After years on the run from prosecutors - and a Panorama documentary being made about his dealings - King was finally brought back to Jersey last year following an £18,000 'first-class' extradition from Bahrain, as revealed by Express.
Pictured: Russell King is already serving a six-year prison sentence.
He was then sentenced to six years behind bars for the £750,000 “plunder” of his dead business partner’s estate and company accounts – money which he used to fund a “very extravagant lifestyle” with his wife.
At his sentencing, the prosecutor Crown Advocate Matthew Jowitt characterised King as having “exploited the death of his business partner, and exploited his power over those subordinate to him, to enrich himself dishonestly to the tune of almost three-quarters of a million pounds.”
In fact, King’s confiscation hearing found that the amount he benefitted financially from his criminal activity was £939,978.81.
The Court heard that, King’s actual assets – including a collection of watches and jewellery as well as the contents of a Swiss trust – total £322,212.80, which represents around a third of the benefit figure.
Pictured: King has been ordered to surrender his 'tainted' assets.
Crown Advocate Jowitt explained that, if King has not surrendered this amount by the end of his current prison sentence, he will have to serve a further three years in custody as a default.
He also told the Court that if he does not pay the full amount by the time his prison sentence is over, then the default sentence will be reduced proportionately.
However, it was heard that there might be some difficulty with paying this amount in full as it appears that, although the assets belong to King, he no longer has control over them.
Advocate Adam Harrison, representing King, explained that should this situation arise, the assets would just become “not realisable”.
Pictured: Some of King's wealth is contained in a trust in Switzerland.
It’s possible that, due to the complexity of the trust in Switzerland and the fluctuation in value of the watches and jewellery, the figure of actual assets King can surrender may be subject to change.
Although King has until the end of his current sentence to comply with the confiscation order, all parties must return to Court to amend the amounts if any complications arise with regaining control of the funds currently held in the trust.
It was heard that this would also be the case if the watches and jewellery – which are currently in the control of the Viscount – do not fetch the expected price when they are sold on.
Royal Court Commissioner Julian Clyde-Smith presided over the hearing and, after consulting with Jurats Blampied, Pitman, Averty, Hughes and Grime, made the order in the terms sought by the Attorney General.
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