Extra six months jail for Lib Dem donor Michael Brown who fled fraud conviction

Michael Brown's term increased after skipping bail for new life in Dominican Republican

The former Liberal Democrat donor Michael Brown, who was convicted of an £8m fraud, has had his jail sentence extended by six months for fleeing the UK.

Judge Alistair McCreath sentenced Brown to six months for breaching his bail, which will be added on to the seven-year sentence for fraud he received in his absence in May 2009, a court official said.

The multi-millionaire went on the run after stealing nearly £8m from former Manchester United chairman Martin Edwards. He was arrested in the Dominican Republic last January. After posing as a well-connected bonds dealer, he secretly used investors' money to fund a record donation of £2.4m to the Liberal Democrats' 2005 election war chest. The party was later cleared of wrongdoing.

Last month a judge at Southwark Crown Court directed Brown to start his seven-year jail sentence after he was extradited to the UK via Spain. A court official at Southwark Crown Court said: "Michael Brown has received a sentence of six months' imprisonment for breach of bail.

"Nine days he spent in prison in Spain will be deducted from the sentence, which will run consecutively with the sentence he received for theft, perverting the course of justice and transferring criminal property in May 2009."

The Electoral Commission ruled in 2009 that the Liberal Democrats could keep the money, which was its largest-ever donation. It found the party had accepted the fraudster's donation in good faith.

Brown had claimed connections with royalty in order to steal the money. He used the cash to finance an "extravagant" way of life, as well as his political donation.

Police believe that Brown may have actually stolen up to £60m from a variety of figures, with an £18m haul still unaccounted for. He fled the UK on a flight out of Gatwick using a false passport in November 2008, sparking an international manhunt. He was living in the Dominican Republic under the name of Darren Nally, officials in the Caribbean said. He was arrested in the tourist town of Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic in January over an unrelated fraud charge.

The Dominican Republic does not have an extradition treaty with the UK, but Brown was deported to Madrid, from where he was brought back to the UK through a European Arrest Warrant secured by the City of London Police.

He is also wanted in Mallorca on fraud charges and may be sent back to Spain after completing his sentence in the UK. Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, has always maintained that the party did not have a moral obligation to pay the £2.4m back. Tom Watson, the Labour MP, published a draft letter written by Brown to police in which the fraudster claims that the party carried out only the most rudimentary checks into whether his company was trading legitimately.

The letter says: "In the case of the donation made by my company, very little due diligence was undertaken."

He went on the run after stealing £8m. In 2005 he gave a record £2.4m to the Liberal Democrats

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments