Raymond Andrew Nevitt, from Manchester, was arrested by the South African authorities on Wednesday after hiding in the country for five years. It is thought that he escaped to Spain initially using a fake passport, before flying to Thailand and then to South Africa in 2010.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said he was the “driving force” behind the £3.5m ($5.5m, €4.9m) fraud in which he persuaded creditors like Barclays and IBM to provide further finance to his Manchester-based computer firm, the Ravelle Group.
In 2008, Nevitt was convicted and sentenced to three years and nine months in jail for five counts of fraudulent trading. He was also ordered to pay a £1.6m confiscation order by May 2009 or face a further 10 years imprisonment.
The group is comprised of three computer companies: Ravelle, PC2GO and Ravelle Printers. The other three company directors were also sentenced in 2008.
Life of luxury
Nevitt was previously convicted in Manchester in 2006 for conspiring to defraud. He was released on bail before his 18-month sentence was given, but failed to surrender to custody. A warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest.
Before his conviction, Nevitt often used company credit cards for personal expenses and travel in order to fund a life of luxury. According to the SFO, he frequently went abroad to places like Las Vegas and Singapore, and purchased a number of company cars, including a Ferrari which he crashed and wrote off in the British Gumball Rally.
When he was arrested in Cape Town earlier this week he had 28 mobile phones and a large quantity of sim cards in his possession.