2m pounds assets targeted in MoD trial: Crown seeks confiscation of homes

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The Independent Online
THE CHILDREN of a corrupt former Ministry of Defence official face the prospect of losing their homes because of their father's dishonesty, a court was told yesterday.

Houses and cars belonging to them have been targeted as the Crown seek the seizure of any benefits that Gordon Foxley, a 67-year-old father-of- seven, derived from his crimes.

The retired director of the MoD's munitions procurement department was convicted last month of taking pounds 1.5m in backhanders from overseas arms companies.

But his counsel, Roy Amlot QC, told Snaresbrook Crown Court that a prosecution report put forward a much higher figure for confiscation under the Criminal Justice Act. 'What is envisaged is draconian. They are claiming over pounds 2m as the benefit derived by the defendant and they assert in it realisable assets of his in relation to nine properties, including his home and the homes of family members . . . and five of their vehicles.'

The homes of three of his daughters were among those specifically mentioned.

Mr Amlot said: 'They make assertions in relation to movement of monies from Switzerland to Guernsey bank accounts, and from Guernsey to the account of Paul Foxley, his son, in this country.'

He told Judge Andrew Brooks that, because of the amount of work necessary to prepare for a full hearing to resist the confiscation moves, more time would be needed.

The judge, who had been planning to sentence Foxley yesterday, agreed to the request for more time, adjourning the case until 7 February.

Mr Amlot also asked Judge Brooks to ignore earlier press reports which claimed that British firms had lost out on MoD orders because of Foxley's activities. 'There was no allegation that Mr Foxley was somehow taking work away from the Royal Ordnance factory (in Blackburn) in favour of the three foreign firms. These allegations are very harmful and wounding to Mr Foxley, and I hope you will take no notice of them when you sentence him.'

Foxley, who lives in a pounds 750,000 house at Henley-on- Thames, Oxfordshire, had his pounds 100,000 bail extended.

During the trial, the court has been told that Foxley, four of whose children are serving Army officers, was involved in awarding multi-million pound contracts for ammunition supplies to overseas companies. In return, they paid huge, secret backhanders and the money was channelled into numbered Swiss bank accounts via front companies that he either owned or controlled.

Foxley, who was found guilty of 12 charges of corruption, retired in 1984 but it was another five years before police began to uncover his crimes.

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