A runaway multi-million pound fraudster who conned the government and multinational companies to fund a playboy lifestyle has been jailed.
Manchester Crown Court heard on Wednesday that Raymond Nevitt, 51, will now serve the 45-month sentence he was given in his absence in 2008.
Nevitt absconded in 2006 after being convicted of defrauding the government. He escaped ahead of another trial for fraud.
He was sentenced to 18 months in prison at the first trial, then convicted in his absence of five further counts of fraud in 2008, when he was sentenced to 45 months in prison.
The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and Greater Manchester Police reported that he was arrested in South Africa in May 2015, “having hid there for five years”.
The Manchester-born Jewish businessman was the driving force behind £3.5m worth of fraud as the head of the Ravelle Group, a second-hand computer parts company he set up in 1991.
SFO general counsel Alun Milford said Nevitt “commonly used company credit cards for personal expenses and travel.
“He led an extravagant lifestyle, making numerous foreign trips to destinations such as Las Vegas, Monaco, Verbier and Singapore. Additionally, he financed a number of company cars for himself including a Ferrari and three BMWs.”
Detective Constable Julian King of Greater Manchester Police’s commercial fraud squad said during the 2008 trial: “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.”
IBM Global Financing lost £1.6m and Barclays Sales Finance lost £654,857 from Nevitt’s actions, while other creditors were conned out of around £1m, the court was told in 2008.
Nevitt, who lived in Whitefield and Prestwich before absconding, also appeared on television with comedian Ruby Wax during the Gumball Rally - a road-race across Europe - after writing off his Ferrari in a 150mph crash. The car’s number plate was “L1000NY”.
International arrest warrants were issued for Nevitt, who the SFO reported “is believed to have first fled to Spain. He subsequently failed to surrender to custody.
“On 26 April 2008 Nevitt entered Thailand at Bangkok Airport, using the fraudulently obtained genuine passport. He secured a visa under the assumed identity and lived in Bo Phut, Koh Samui offering his services as a driver.
“Nevitt subsequently left Thailand, possibly early in 2010 and subsequently made his way to South Africa. At the time of the arrest he was found with 28 mobile phones and a large quantity of sim cards in his possession.”
He was finally apprehended in May 2015, in Cape Town, and detained for nine months in the city’s Pollsmoor Prison before being extradited back to Britain.
Judge Martin Steiger QC did not sentence Nevitt for skipping bail, explaining: “Nine months is sufficient for the absconding. The defendant can now serve his sentence.”