Michelle Mone's husband Doug Barrowman accused of '£5.5m tax swindle'

Tory peer Michelle Mone’s businessman husband Doug Barrowman, 57, ‘took part in £5.5m corporate tax swindle in Spain’ prosecutors claim

  • Baroness Michelle Mone’s husband is accused of being in a tax evasion scam 
  • Doug Barrowman, 57, is among seven British businessmen facing trial in Spain
  • The group allegedly authorised a €6.3million (£5.5million) invoice to offset tax
  • Barrowman and six co-defendants deny tax evasion and misappropriation

Conservative peer Michelle Mone’s husband is accused of playing a key role in a multi-million corporate tax evasion scam, prosecutors claim.

Doug Barrowman, 57, is among seven British businessmen facing trial in Spain this spring for tax evasion and misappropriation in relation to a disputed invoice.

Although he and his co-defendants have pleaded their innocence, Barrowman faces two and a half years in jail if he is found guilty, The Daily Record reports.

The four-page indictment, seen by the newspaper, claims Barrowman and two other investors attended two meetings of B3 Cable Solutions in 2008 where a €6.3million (£5.5million) invoice was ‘ratified’ and approved on company accounts.

Mr Barrowman has been charged alongside six other UK nationals. All seven deny the charges

Doug Barrowman (left) pictured with Baroness Michelle Mone (right) at Cheltenham in 2019

Spanish authorities allege the invoice payment was ‘destined for their own personal benefit’ due to purported links between Barrowman and UK firm Axis Ventura, the Manchester-based company which received the €6.3million (£5.5million) payment.

Barrowman’s defence claims he was neither a shareholder or director of Axis at the time the invoice was created and paid.

Axis financed €18.8million through Landsbanski to purchase B3 Cable Solutions Spain, a cable provider in northern Spain which later went defunct in 2012.

According to the indictment, Barrowman ceased his connection to Axis in March 18, 2008, four months before the invoice was paid and later partly used to offset B3’s corporation tax bill by €1.6million.

The indictment further claims Spain’s Treasury was cheated out of over €0.5million and also demand for B3 to be reimbursed.

The seven businessmen have been accused of benefitting from an invoice for ‘fictitious services’ relating to the July 2008 payment (Pictured: Mr Barrowman with wife Baroness Mone)

The prosecution document refers to three men, including Barrowman, who were not B3 company directors but shareholders with 59 per cent of its capital.

They were present at the General Meeting on May 27, 2008, when the financial arrangements were made with Landsbanki, including ratification of the €6.3million invoice. The trio were also present at the General Meeting on April 9 the following year, when the company accounts were signed off.

The document states: ‘Therefore, they consciously permitted with their support the approval of agreements which, among other things made reference to services provided and subsequently paid to Axis Ventura, knowing because of their roles in both companies that far from signifying the payment of services never provided, the €6.3million were destined for their own personal benefit.’

Regarding Axis Ventura’s role in B3’s business, the indictment read: ‘No services were provided or any activities carried out by Axis Ventura.

‘Instead, the accused who participated in both companies, guided by the intention of obtaining an illegal benefit, took advantage of the fact an important amount of money had entered B3 Cable’s account via banking finance and agreed together to authorise in the shareholder meeting the payment of an important amount of money to another entity they themselves participated in.’

Baroness Mone, the founder of a lingerie firm, has denied reports she benefited from PPE Medpro winning contracts worth more than £200million during the pandemic or that she had anything to do with the running of the company

Elsewhere, the business activities of Barrowman’s wife Michelle Mone are under scrutiny after she allegedly profited from pandemic contracts.

Leaked documents allegedly show she and her children could have received millions after a company called PPE Medpro was referred for Government contracts to supply masks and gowns. 

The firm was awarded £203million in two contracts after Baroness Mone, a member of the House of Lords, recommended it to ministers at the beginning of the pandemic.

PPE Medpro is now being sued by the Government for breaching the terms of a £122million contract to supply 25million surgical gowns for medical staff.

The company said it would defend the civil lawsuit and the Department for Health had ‘vastly over-ordered’ PPE. But according to documents seen by the Financial Times, Mone’s husband Douglas Barrowman – who denies any wrongdoing – received £65million in profits from PPE Medpro.

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