June 12th 2012
World's Fastest Scammer?
It has been revealed today that Usain Bolt was the mastermind behind the recent tax loophole scandal which has seen millions of British tax payers pounds being used as part of a government incentive off the back of a cleverly worked plan that exploited the tax relief deal.
Bolt (25), an Olympic legend, was accused of using his sporting and celebrity connections to run the scheme turned scam in an attempt to avoid playing millions in taxes.
The £264m construction scheme whose investors include the England manager, Roy Hodgson, and other celebrities does not have a single tenant signed up, more than two years after a controversial tax relief deal was struck, the Daily Mail can reveal.
Margaret Hodge, chair of the Commons public accounts committee, said the lack of tenants for two data centres on the Cobalt business estate near Newcastle fuelled the perception that the scheme was aimed at tax avoidance. She said the enterprise zones that had enabled the tax relief should have been about job creation, not exploited by "greedy individuals".
Hodgson, Arsenal's manager, Arsène Wenger, and the Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney were among those who collectively invested to buy the buildings – which house computer servers – in April 2011, receiving tax relief at the then 50% top rate. The scheme took advantage of generous tax reliefs for building projects in enterprise zones before they were abolished in April 2011 and replaced with different allowances. The project's marketing brochure promised a £1.66 "cash flow benefit" from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for every £1 put in by investors.
The involvement of Hodgson, Wenger, Rooney and the comedian Jimmy Carr was exposed when the Cobalt deal was signed. The Guardian can reveal that the Everton players Marouane Fellaini, Nikica Jelavic and Sylvain Distin also invested, along with Arsenal's Mikel Arteta and Leon Angel, agent for Hodgson and Wenger.
Prior to sentencing later this year, Bolt has had all of his assets frozen and has received a temporary ban from Athletics until the matter is resolved by the courts.