Former CEO of failed conglomerate sentenced to 10 years at Old Bailey for stealing £29m from his own company
Asil Nadir has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for stealing £29m from his Polly Peck empire.
Before sentencing at the Old Bailey, the judge, Mr Justice Holroyde, who has overseen the seven-month trial, said it was “utterly inexplicable” why Nadir didn’t return the cash when the company depended on it when it collapsed in 1990.
In sentencing the judge told Nadir he had committed theft on a grand scale done out of “sheer greed”. He said: “You accused everyone but yourself [for the collapse].” He added: “Polly Peck’s success was in many ways your success, but the company’s money was not your money.” He also stated Nadir’s conduct was responsible for the collapse of Polly Peck International, but he was not the only cause.
A packed courtroom heard that the legal costs currently run to £3.2m, excluding the cost of the Serious Fraud Office’s investigation.
The prosecution said it will be seeking to recover some of the money from Nadir – who received legal aid despite arriving at court each day in a chauffeur-driven Jaguar – but would not be issuing a confiscation order.
Instead, Nadir will have to declare his financial situation to the court next month and may have to pay a compensation order to include interest for those who lost out when PPI went bust.
In mitigation, Nadir’s lawyer, Philip Hackett QC, said his client, who fled to his native northern Cyprus in 1993 before his original trial, had returned voluntarily in 2010 despite his ill health.
He said Nadir was of “good character” and his bail conditions, which included wearing an electronic tag and being under a strict curfew, should be taken into account.
Nadir was remanded in custody on Wednesday evening after the jury found him guilty of 10 of the 13 charges of theft.
The jury spent 48 hours deliberating the theft, worth nearly £62m in today’s money.
Each charge carried a maximum sentence of seven years and it is unlikely that he will be given a sentence in an open prison because of his history.