Michelle Mone Husband, Man Arrested in Probe Into Mone-Linked Ppe Firm

Doug Barrowman, 58, the husband of Tory peer Michelle Mone, has been acquitted of all fraud and embezzlement charges following a trial in Spain. Barrowman, a Glasgow-born millionaire with an estimated net worth of $100 million, faced allegations of misappropriating €6.3 million from a Spanish cable factory for illicit benefit in 2008. He was looking at a potential prison sentence of five and a half years.

What Were the Charges Against Doug Barrowman?

Barrowman was accused of profiting from a fraudulent invoice designed to evade tax and extract millions of euros from the Spanish company B3 Cable Solutions via the UK company Axis Ventura in 2008. The prosecutors alleged that Barrowman and his associates defrauded the Spanish government of half a million euros in tax related to the payment.

How Did the Trial Unfold?

The trial took place at Cantabria’s Provincial Court in Santander. Barrowman admitted in court that he played a leading role in the purchase of B3 Cable Solutions in 2008. He confirmed that the Spanish firm made the €6.3 million payment to Aston Ventures, a UK company he founded, insisting it was a ‘consultancy fee.’ Despite the company going bust four years later, costing the jobs of 200 people in the Santander area, Barrowman maintained that the payment was legitimate.

What Was the Court’s Ruling?

The court acquitted Barrowman and his six co-defendants on all charges. The three judges ruled that there was abundant documentation supporting the services justifying the €6.3 million fee. However, they noted that the figure was ‘disproportionate’ and described the transfer as ‘strange’ and ‘hardly compatible’ with the business interests of B3 Cable Solutions. They added that the prosecution’s accusation was based on the non-existence of services and did not consider the possibility of criminal charges for an excessive or disproportionate payment. On the tax evasion charges, the judges observed that the tax relief claimed by the defendants was very high but ‘acceptable.’

Who Were Barrowman’s Co-Defendants?

Barrowman’s business associates on trial for the same crime were Paul Ruocco, Mark Price Williams, David Powell, Timothy Eve, Michael Walton, and Stephen Ellis. All were acquitted alongside Barrowman.

What Does This Mean for Michelle Mone?

The acquittal comes as some relief for Barrowman and his embattled wife, Michelle Mone, who is under investigation by Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA). Mone is facing scrutiny for recommending a company secretly owned by Barrowman to supply PPE during the Covid pandemic. PPE MedPro was awarded €142 million in government contracts for equipment that turned out to be faulty.

What is the Background of Michelle Mone’s Controversy?

Michelle Mone, who gained fame as a bra manufacturer, became the subject of media attention over speculation that she purchased her yacht, the Lady M, with money meant for life-saving PPE. As part of the ongoing investigation, Barrowman and Mone had €87 million in assets frozen in the UK. This includes a country estate, a six-bedroom house in London’s Belgravia, a yacht, and a jet.

What Lies Ahead for Barrowman and Mone?

While Barrowman has been cleared of the charges in Spain, the couple still faces significant legal challenges in the UK. The investigation by the NCA into the PPE contracts and the freezing of their assets indicate that their legal troubles are far from over. The couple will likely continue to fight these allegations while managing the impact on their public and personal lives.

How Has the Public Reacted?

Public reaction to the acquittal has been mixed. Some view the ruling as a vindication for Barrowman and a step towards clearing their names, while others remain skeptical, particularly in light of the ongoing investigations in the UK. The controversy surrounding the PPE contracts has fueled public interest and scrutiny of their business dealings.

What Are the Implications for Business and Politics?

The case highlights the complexities and challenges of international business and the potential for legal issues to arise. It also underscores the importance of transparency and accountability in both business and politics. As Barrowman and Mone navigate their legal battles, the outcome will likely have broader implications for how business dealings are conducted and scrutinized in the future.

In conclusion, Doug Barrowman’s acquittal in Spain marks a significant development in a long and complex legal saga. However, with ongoing investigations in the UK, the couple’s challenges are far from over. The public and legal scrutiny they face will continue to shape their future and influence the broader landscape of business and politics.


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