Saturday 16 December 2017

Businessman worth £40m two years ago has no money left, court told

By Brian Farmer, Press Association

A businessman said to be worth nearly £40 million two years ago has "very, very little money", a High Court judge was told today.

Michael Prest, who is in his 50s, has "no source of income" and is looking for a job, Mr Justice Moylan heard at a High Court hearing in London.

Detail emerged at the latest round of a divorce cash fight - which was earlier this year analysed by the Supreme Court - between Mr Prest and his estranged wife Yasmin, who is also in her 50s.

In 2011 a High Court judge had assessed Mr Prest's net assets at £37.5 million and ordered him to make a lump sum payment of £17.5 million to Mrs Prest.

And he said Mr Prest should make periodical payments totalling nearly £300,000 a year to his wife and their four children until the lump sum was paid.

Mrs Prest today claimed that Mr Prest was in contempt of court because he owed more than £400,000 in periodical payments.

Her claim is due to be fully argued at a hearing early next year - and Mr Prest could be jailed if a judge finds him in contempt.

Sarah Dines, for Mr Prest, today told Mr Justice Moylan: "He tells me is he being truthful and frank. He says he has no source of income and is actively looking for employment."

She said Mr Prest was "at a loss at what to do to find the money" and added: "He finds himself in a position where he has very, very little money with which to live. He is a man in considerable difficulty, personally, financially and emotionally."

Jeremy Posnansky QC, for Mrs Prest, told the judge: "I don't accept any of the evidence presented by Miss Dines."

Mr Justice Moylan delayed the hearing of Mr Prest's contempt application after being told that Mr Prest was due to have an operation today.

He said it would be listed for a date in January or February.

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