Mone’s husband cleared of tax fraud in Spain

Doug Barrowman and Michelle Mone facing the cameras earlier this year

Baroness Mone’s husband Doug Barrowman has been acquitted of embezzlement and tax fraud following a trial in Spain where he faced the threat of five years in prison.

The Scots-born tycoon, who is based on the Isle of Man, faced accusations in relation to a £16 million deal to buy a cable factory.

A public prosecutor alleged that the 59-year-old and five associates had defrauded the Spanish Treasury by claiming tax relief on part of a six-figure “consultancy fee” in the company’s annual return. Many of the defendants denied the claims.

Three Spanish judges released a ruling which concluded there was “abundant documentation” that services were provided by Mr Barrowman and his associates but described the sum paid as “disproportionate”. However, that did not necessarily imply criminal wrongdoing.

“The prosecution accusation was based specifically on the non-existence of services,” the ruling said. “The possibility of the criminal consideration of an excessive or disproportionate payment hasn’t been touched on.”

Regarding the alleged loss to the Spanish Treasury, they said that although the tax relief claimed could be considered very high, it was “acceptable”.

They also ruled prosecutors had failed to prove that money paid to a company linked to Barrowman had ended up in an offshore account.

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