A property developer embroiled in a cash fight with his estranged wife had given the High Court the “run-around” and should be jailed for being in contempt, a judge was told today.
Scot Young, 51, had been worth £400 million in 2006 but had given Michelle Young, 48, “absolutely no explanation” about where that money had gone, Mr Justice Moor heard.
A lawyer representing Mrs Young said Mr Young was pleading poverty but seemed to be living a lifestyle “consistent with considerable wealth”.
Edward Fitzgerald QC said Mr Young had not complied with orders to provide Mrs Young with detail of finances and should be jailed for being in contempt of court.
Mr Young, who is representing himself at a High Court hearing in London, has yet to respond to the allegations although he has indicated that “health issues” had been a cause of delay.
The hearing was the latest stage in a lengthy cash battle between the pair.
High Court judges have heard that the Youngs, who both live in London and have two daughters, separated in 2006.
Two years ago, a judge ordered Mr Young to pay Mrs Young £27,500 a month maintenance.
Mr Young – who has been described at earlier court hearings as a “property tycoon” – says he is bankrupt and cannot pay. Mrs Young says Mr Young has “secreted enormous assets”.
The pair’s claims are due to be fully argued at a trial scheduled to begin late this year.
Mr Fitzgerald told Mr Justice Moor that Mrs Young was making an “application to commit” Mr Young to prison for contempt.
He said Mr Young had not complied with a court order to disclose details of finances to Mrs Young.
Mr Fitzgerald told the court that Mr Young said he had been supporting himself by relying on friends and former business associates.
Mr Young had said he had been given “gifts” to cover rent and living expenses but had provided no documentation, Mr Fitzgerald told the court.
Mr Fitzgerald said the gifts totalled £155,000 in rent and £151,000 in “other items”.
“There is no documentation in relation to any of that,” Mr Fitzgerald told the judge.
“This is an incredible claim, that all this was made in cash in relation to which there was no documentation at all.”
Mr Fitzgerald added: “He was worth £400 million in 2006. He has given absolutely no explanation about where that £400 million went at all.
“He claims this was all lost on ‘Project Moscow’.”
Mr Fitzgerald went on: “He has repeatedly given the court the run-around… Whilst he pleads poverty, and says he has got nothing, there is evidence of him living a lifestyle consistent with considerable wealth.”
The judge said he would deliver a ruling tomorrow.
SOURCE: The Independent