Arrest warrant issued for fraud trial donor

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The Independent Online

An international businessman whose company gave the Liberal Democrats more than £2 million is being sought just weeks before his trial for fraud.

Michael Brown, 42, was due to stand trial in September accused of a string of fraud and money-laundering offences.

But a judge at Southwark Crown Court issued an arrest warrant today after he breached his bail conditions.

A City of London Police spokeswoman said: "A judge at Southwark Crown Court issued an arrest warrant today for Michael Brown.

"Brown, 42, is due to stand trial on 8 September charged with 18 offences and has failed to comply with his bail conditions.

"Efforts are being made to contact him. He is charged with money laundering, theft, perverting the course of justice and other fraud-related offences.

"A further hearing on the case has been listed for 11 August."

Brown was at the centre of controversy after it emerged he bankrolled the Lib Dems' last general election campaign despite not being registered to vote.

He was jailed for two years in 2006 after he admitted committing perjury and making a false declaration to obtain a passport.

During that case the judge said Brown, who is based in Spain, was guilty of "very deliberate and pointed" dishonesty.