PPE inquiry

Mone and Barrowman’s assets frozen in fraud probe

Doug Barrowman and Michelle Mone in their TV interview

Assets worth about £75 million, controlled by Baroness Michelle Mone and her husband Doug Barrowman, have been frozen or restrained under a court order obtained by the Crown Prosecution Service.

PPE Medpro, a company led by Mr Barrowman, is under investigation by the National Crime Agency over government contracts awarded during the pandemic for allegedly faulty personal protective equipment.

It was awarded contracts worth more than £200m to supply PPE to the NHS through a “VIP lane”. The firm is also being sued by the Department of Health and Social Care.

The couple have now confirmed that they have agreed to restrictions being placed over a range of assets, including a six-bedroom townhouse in London’s Belgravia and a country estate on the Isle of Man.

Prosecutors have also targeted 15 accounts at Coutts, C Hoare & Co and Goldman Sachs International, according to the Financial Times.

A spokesperson for former Ultimo lingerie entrepreneur Mone and Mr Barrowman said: “This comes as a result of a consensual process during which negotiations took place with the CPS. It allows the wider businesses and assets of the Barrowman family to operate normally and free from any restrictions or uncertainties.

“Doug and Michelle did not contest the application and were happy to offer up these assets, which means they can begin the task of proving their innocence more quickly.”

The order, issued in December after an application by the CPS, blocks the couple from selling some of the assets and applies restrictions to others.

After news broke of the order, Baroness Mone used her account on Twitter/X to claim that private and confidential matters continued to be leaked by government sources.

“It shows how desperate they are to keep attacking us every week,” she said.

Mr Barrowman accused the government of using the NCA “to threaten criminal proceedings” to force the couple to reach a settlement over PPE Medpro, which is being sued by the UK government for £122m plus costs for “breach of contract and unjust enrichment”.

The NCA is investigating allegations of fraud and bribery surrounding the company. Mone and Barrowman both deny the allegations.

During a television interview last month, Baroness Mone admitted she had lied to the media by denying her links to PPE Medpro.

The former Scotland secretary David Mundell said the former prime minister David Cameron, now foreign secretary, had breached “proper process” when he appointed Mone to the House of Lords in 2015.

Mr Mundell, the Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, said Mr Cameron appointed Mone without No 10 consulting the government’s Scotland Office, which is standard practice before awarding peerages to Scots.

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