Following a four-year manhunt, the UK is awaiting the arrival of Michael Brown, the multi-millionaire fraudster and Lib Dem donor who was living in a Dominican Republic resort under a false name.
Dominican Republic police said Brown lived under the name Darren Nally and changed his appearance several times. He was arrested in the Dominican and flown to Madrid where he is to be handed over the UK authorities.
Glasgow-born Brown, 46, was sentenced in his absence to seven years in jail after being convicted of fraud at London’s Southwark Crown Court in 2008. Brown posed as a bond dealer and claimed connections with royalty. He allegedly stole £36m from clients and used investors’ money to fund the record donation to the Lib Dems’ 2005 election war chest along with his extravagant lifestyle.
He gave the Lib Dems £2.4m and was sentenced to seven years for fraud by a London court in 2008. He fled to the Caribbean after his convicted for stealing almost £8m from the former chairman of Manchester United, among others.
Dominican officials said they detained him in the tourist town of Punta Cana in January where Brown was also charged with defrauding locals. The alleged victims dropped their complaints so he could be extradited to Britain.
An Electoral Commission inquiry in 2009 cleared the Lib Dem party of all wrongdoing as they’d accepted the donation in good faith.
“Michael Brown was deported from the Dominican Republic and landed in Madrid on Saturday morning, accompanied by officers from the Dominican Republic,” a City of London Police spokesman said.
London police plan to bring him back to the UK via a European Arrest Warrant.
The Serious Organised Crime Agency said the process involved being taken to Madrid for an extradition hearing, after which there is a 10-day period for extradition to the UK. The process will likely start next week.
“The City of London Police is pleased that after four years evading British justice, Mr Brown is a step closer to returning to the UK to start his prison sentence, Detective Superintendent Bob Wishart said.