Landmark ruling could see tax cheat lose Tenerife home
18th January 2016
A tax cheat who has refused to pay back any of the thousands of pounds he illegally got through benefits from the UK could lose his luxury home in Tenerife following a landmark ruling.
In a move that could affect future cases that are being worked on by lawyers and those in in-house legal job roles, a judge has ordered the Spanish authorities to enforce the debt that club singer Bobby Webber from Gateshead owes.
After failing to pay back any of the thousands he illegally received in UK benefits whilst residing in Tenerife, a UK court issued a warrant for his arrest back in 2011. As the benefits are still unpaid and Mr Webber is still very much at large the court has asked the Spanish authorities to seize his home.
Luxury Tenerife home set to be taken
Whilst criminals’ assets have previously been untouchable abroad, the first application of new regulations at Newcastle Crown Court means that Mr Webber could now lose his luxury home on the Spanish island.
Recently introduced regulations mean that UK authorities can now get other European countries to seize the belongings of a criminal that is living abroad. In this case, a judge has granted permission for the Spanish authorities to confiscate some of Bobby Webber’s belongings.
An article on Chronicle Live reveals that Judge Paul Sloan QC, at Newcastle Crown Court, said, “These provisions enable confiscations made by the UK to be enforced by other member states.”
“The available amount, which included the property in Spain, was sufficient to meet the benefit figure and a confiscation order was made in the sum of £75,000.”
This ruling is the first of its kind since the new rules were introduced in 2014 and after illegally claiming housing benefit, council tax benefit, pension credit and income support Mr Webber’s house could now be confiscated.
Image Credit: Lisa. S