David D'Orazi of Upper Rissington owed £105,000 to Revenue and Customs for house sale
11:50am Thursday 29th August 2013 in News
A COTSWOLDS man sold his £785,000 house and fled to Portugal to avoid paying a big income tax bill, a jury has heard.
David D'Orazi owed just over £105,000 to Revenue and Customs and they obtained a county court judgement against him for the money in 2008.
Within weeks of the court order he sold a £750,000 house which he and his wife Amy owned in West Chiltington, Sussex, Gloucester crown court was told. After paying off the mortgage and other debts the couple had £160,000 left and they promptly moved to their home in Portugal, said Nick Fryer, prosecuting.
He said D'Orazi, now of Lancaster Drive, Upper Rissington, near Stow-on-the-Wold, should have paid his £80,000 share of the proceeds to Revenue and Customs because of the court order against him.
"The funds came into his possession 26 days after the county court judgement against him," Mr Fryer said. "He had an obligation to deal with that debt.
"But he didn't do anything. The whole £160,000 went into his wife's bank account and they departed for Portugal where they also owned a house, "Over the next 11 months they spent the money and by 2009 there was virtually nothing left.
"There was a balance of just £1.05 in one of their accounts and the balance in another account was overdrawn by £187.
"At that stage he was also in financial difficulties in Portugal. They defaulted on the mortgage on the Portuguese property and the house was re-possessed.
"He came back to the UK and began to have meaningful discussions with Revenue and Customs about repaying the money but agreement was never reached and it was never paid."
Revenue and Customs then made Mr D'Orazi bankrupt in 2010 because of the unpaid debts, he added.
Mr Fryer told the jury: "You will have to decide whether, in going to Portugal and not settling his debt he acted to defraud his creditors. Did he take that money away from Revenue and Customs so they would never get hold of the money."
D'Orazi's defence is that he had no intention to defraud or conceal his finances, Mr Fryer added.
The trial continues.