Lost fortune: Scot Young, who was jailed this year, with girlfriend Noelle Reno
A major British bank that received billions of pounds from the taxpayer has been dragged into Britain’s most high-profile and bitter divorce, the Standard can reveal.
The Bank of Scotland (HBOS) is listed as a major creditor of Scot Young, a former fixer to the super-rich who claims he lost a £400 million fortune and cannot pay his ex-wife a penny in maintenance.
HBOS, which had to be rescued with £20 billion of taxpayers’ money in 2008, is said to be owed £3 million by Mr Young, who claims to have gone bankrupt following a series of disastrous property deals.
His ex-wife Michelle, a former model, has doggedly pursued her husband since their separation in 2006, and claims she can prove a widespread corporate conspiracy to hide his wealth offshore.
Now, questions have emerged over HBOS’s status as one of Mr Young’s creditors as the tycoon indicated to the High Court four years ago that all the bank’s debts have been repaid.
In a sworn affidavit, Mr Young claims the bank lent him mortgages totalling £29 million between 2001 and 2005 to buy six luxury properties, later sold for a profit of more than £17 million.
Mrs Young said: “Mr Young needs to explain how the Bank of Scotland is still listed as a creditor in 2013 when he admitted four years ago that all its loans had been repaid.”
Despite being declared bankrupt in 2010, Mr Young continues to live lavishly and has told the High Court that he enjoys financial support from some of Britain’s most successful businessmen.
However, following a seven-year legal battle, the Scottish-born entrepreneur was finally jailed in January for “flagrant and deliberate” contempt of court after he repeatedly refused to reveal how his £400 million had vanished.
Mr Young’s bankruptcy has been overseen for two years by David Ingram at accountancy firm Grant Thornton.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, Mr Ingram admitted he had yet to track down any of Mr Young’s assets.
He said: “There is a mass of evidence and to date we have yet to find a single asset that is either held by him or by a third party or a trust on his behalf.”
A HBOS spokesman said he could not comment on the bank’s “relationship with customers”.
Some of Mr Young’s creditors are represented by offshore specialists Jirehouse Capital, whose spokesman said: “The notion this firm has in some way sheltered Mr Young’s assets is a fanciful inference based on meritless journalistic speculation.”
SOURCE: London Evening Standard