Jeweller’s son on run after £3.25m fraud

The runaway son of a Manchester jewellery company owner has been convicted in his absence of cheating firms out of £3.25 million to fund his playboy lifestyle.

Raymond Nevitt, 43, was found guilty at Manchester Crown Court last week of five charges of fraudulent trading at the end of an 11-week trial.

But he was not there to hear the verdicts. In 2006, after being convicted of defrauding the government of £56,000 by running a training organisation that provided no training, he vanished while on bail and did not serve the 18-month prison sentence he was given at that time. Now international arrest warrants have been issued. It is believed he may be in southern Spain.

Nevitt is the elder son of Jeffrey and Beryl Nevitt, owners of Jewellery World in Cheetham Hill, Manchester. He has lived in Whitefield and Prestwich. He has been married, but divorced shortly before his legal troubles began.

The court heard that in 1991 Nevitt set up a company called Ravelle which sold second-hand computer parts. But he used company credit cards to fund a lifestyle that took him on exotic trips abroad and bought expensive cars. He also took part in the Gumball Rally, a celebrity road-race across Europe, during which he wrote off a Ferrari sports car. Police began investigating two of his companies, PC2GO Ltd and Just Printers Ltd in 2001. While his companies were going bankrupt, he continued trading using a method known as “fresh air” invoicing — forging paperwork to persuade companies and banks to lend him money with fictitious orders.

One of the companies he dealt with, IBM Global Financing lost £1.6 million while Barclays Sales Finance lost £654,857. Other creditors lost about £1,000,000, the court was told.

Det Con Julian King from Greater Manchester Police commercial fraud squad, said: “Between 1999 and 2000, Nevitt spent £160,000 on trips to Las Vegas, Monaco, skiing in Verbiers, Singapore, Paphos and Marbella.

“This was not a victimless circle. Eighty people who worked for his companies lost their jobs, while other companies with whom he dealt in Britain and Europe went into liquidation as a result of his activities. He caused severe hardship and distress to many people and just walked away from it.”

His company’s finance director, 48-year-old accountant Jeremy Greene, was convicted of three counts of fraudulent trading, while another director, Kay Boardman, 49, pleaded guilty to one count before the trial. Sentencing will be at the end of this month.

    Last updated: 10:31am, April 3 2008