Manchester £3.25m fraud fugitive Raymond Nevitt jailed

Raymond Nevitt Image copyright Greater Manchester Police
Image caption Nevitt used money from his firm to pay for exotic trips and buy fast cars

A fugitive who funded a "playboy lifestyle" with a £3.25m fraud has been extradited to the UK and jailed after going on the run for nine years.

Raymond Nevitt, 51, of Manchester, absconded in 2006 following a conviction for defrauding the taxpayer.

Nevitt was sentenced to three years and nine months in his absence in 2008.

At Manchester Crown Court, Judge Steiger agreed not to add extra time on Nevitt's sentence as he had spent nine months in a South African jail.

Nevitt was ordered to pay £1.6m or serve a further 10 years following a Proceeds of Crime hearing in 2008.

'Walking fraud machine'

His solicitor, celebrity lawyer Nick Freeman, said his client was "considering his legal position" in relation to appealing against the current sentence and the proceeds of crime matter.

Nevitt, described by one police source as "a walking fraud machine", had travelled on a fake passport first to Spain, then Thailand before hiding in Cape Town for five years.

He was arrested in May 2015. Police found him with 28 mobile phones and a large number of sim cards.

The Serious Fraud Office confirmed Nevitt was flown back to the UK on Tuesday.

Image copyright PA
Image caption At Manchester Crown Court, Judge Steiger agreed not to add extra time on Nevitt's sentence

The former director of three Trafford Park-based computer parts companies was first convicted of defrauding the taxpayer in 2006.

As his firms were going under Nevitt forged paperwork so companies would lend him money on the strength of bogus orders - known as "Fresh Air" invoicing.

In the final analysis, IBM Global Financing lost £1,6m and Barclays Sales Finance lost £654,857. Other creditors lost about £1m.

Mr Freeman said outside court his client wanted to "apologise to the judge, court and prosecution authorities for absconding" and said "he was at a very low ebb".

He added:"For the past nine months, he's been living in a hellhole in Pollsmoor jail, with 70 inmates in one room, 40 mattresses, one shower and one lavatory, neither of which worked properly.

"For many reasons, he's extremely relieved to be back on home soil."

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