Photo: Glenn Copus

Frank Timis is the 497th richest people in Britain as mentioned by Rich List. It also estimated his property to be worth £162 million. He is a Romanian-Australian born and is known for industries and natural resources. He lives in London right now.

In the year 2017, he paid his tax return of £35.20. He claimed that he earned almost no money from his global business empire. Though he lives in a penthouse worth £14,000 per month and enjoys most grandeur hotels in London. He had his ways, to evade taxes. He almost pulled a great feat while executing this tax fraud until his documents were leaked to BBC Panorama and Africa’s eye. The documents also revealed that he failed to pay taxes in 2016.

How he did it?

He received £670,000 as payments from his offshore trusts. These are called distribution payment. These payments are also taxable. Instead, right before his tax payment, he would request his trust to convert these distributions into un-taxable loans. In this way, he does not have to pay any more taxes even for the money overseas. He also made backdated agreements to make these entire look legitimate.

John Christiansen, from the Tax Justice Network, said: “It all points to this being a maneuver to cheat the tax man. And, if that is the case, because it’s been done retrospectively, there seems to be prima facie evidence that this is tax fraud and it should be investigated.”

This is not his only controversy. Probably he also has other major controversies one related to heroin and the other with the mining. He was convicted of supplying heroin in the 90s and was also related to some mining failures in Africa.

Who runs the trust?

Philip Caldwell runs the trust, which helps Frank to avoid any tax payment. In an interview, he said that the meeting, which is held right before the tax payments is fake. He also justifies himself, saying that, though the signatures are his, he had no knowledge of it. It sounds pretty unbelievable.

In addition to all these controversies his petroleum – Regal petroleum, has to pay a huge amount as fine. In 2009, he misled his investors about oil discoveries. This fine was the biggest fine anyone has ever paid. He misdirected his investors in believing that he found an oil reserve in Greece while it was all dried up.

His lawyer defended him, stating the fact that he is a minor shareholder in the Regal petroleum and all these misleading are not his faults. The leaked documents have revealed a huge amount of information against Mr. Frank. Panorama also aired a dubbed $10 billion energy scandal story.