Former fugitive tycoon Asil Nadir was jailed for 10 years today after a judge said he stole millions out of “pure greed”.
Nadir had been a wealthy man and had an extravagant lifestyle when he stole £28.8m (€36.43m) from his company Polly Peck International.
Old Bailey judge Mr Justice Holroyde told Nadir: “You are a man of outstanding business skills.
“In the 1980s you achieved remarkable success. You are entitled to take great pride in that achievement. The company’s success was in many ways your success. But the company’s money was not your money.
“You knew that. You nonetheless helped yourself to it. You committed theft on a grand scale. It seems to me that you already had an extravagant lifestyle as a result of your success in business.
“It follows that you were a wealthy man who stole out of pure greed.”
Nadir, 71, was convicted this week of 10 counts of theft from PPI between 1987 and 1990.
The Stock Exchange high performer collapsed with debts of £550m (€695.75m).
Nadir fled Britain for his native Northern Cyprus in May 1993 but returned voluntarily in August 2010 to face trial.
The amount he stole is the equivalent of £61.6m (€77.92m) today. The prosecution had alleged it was part of £150m (€189.76m) taken from the company.
The judge said Nadir’s behaviour had contributed to PPI crashing. Investors who lost money included large institutions, small investors and pension funds.
Mr Justice Holroyde told Nadir: “You remained absent from this country for 17 years, and so delayed for nearly two decades the day of reckoning which has finally arrived.
“You are a man of considerable charm and unfailing courtesy, and it is sad to see the waste of your undoubted talents. But I have no hesitation in concluding that you have shown not the slightest remorse for your crime.
“Your sole concern throughout has been to avoid any acceptance of your own responsibility.”
After the sentencing in the packed courtroom, Nadir said “thank you” to the judge. He replied: “Thank you, Mr Nadir.”
Before leaving the dock, Nadir turned to his devoted wife Nur, 28, and said goodbye.
Nadir will serve half his sentence, possibly in an open prison, before being released on parole.
The judge said he had reduced the term he would have given by two years to take into account his voluntary return, his previous good character and that he had been electronically tagged for two years.