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Boxing promoter faces jail after pleading guilty to £1.3m scam

BOXING promoter Barry Hughes is facing a jail sentence after pleading guilty to a £1.3 million mortgage scam involving two luxury homes.

Barry Hughes
Barry Hughes

Hughes, 35, whose admission came after more than two and a half years of court proceedings, had claimed his wife Jacqueline, 37, made £160,000 from her interior design business

But the tycoon has now said he lied on mortgage applications about his wife's income in January 2004 for one property in Bridge of Weir and, in November 2006, for a second in Kilmacolm, totalling £1,287,955 for both mortgages.

Hughes, of Kilmacolm, Renfrewshire, also admitted money-laundering. He received £128,885 from the sale of his first property and spent £30,000 of the proceeds on a Rolex watch.

Mrs Hughes, who is pregnant, kissed him as she walked free from Glasgow Sheriff Court after her not guilty pleas regarding the fraud charges were accepted.

The court was told that in January 2004 Hughes applied for a self-certified mortgage in his wife's name for £429,955, claiming she was self-employed and owned McDonald Interiors. The application was completed and granted.

The purchase of a property in Juniper Avenue, Bridge of Weir, was finalised in March 2004.

Before buying the other property at The Avenue, Kilmacolm, Mrs Hughes began divorce proceedings.

Mr Ablett said: "The summons stated that the marriage had broken down irretrievably. They averred that Jacqueline Hughes had been financially dependent on Barry Hughes both prior to, and after, their marriage on August 10, 2003. They also indicated that Jacqueline Hughes had not worked since the birth of their first child in 2000."

The divorce case arose after it was revealed Hughes had had a relationship with ex-Miss Scotland Michelle Watson. Mrs Hughes later dropped divorce proceedings.

The court was told that in November 2006, Hughes paid a deposit of £25,000 to reserve a plot at The Avenue to be in his name. After entry was postponed when money was not transferred, Hughes went to the previous mortgage broker and arranged for a loan in his wife's name.

In December that year, the missives were changed to her name, but the sale could not proceed because a contract had already been signed in his name.

A further mortgage application was made to the Bank of Scotland for £858,000, which was successful. It claimed Mrs Hughes was the owner of McDonald Interiors and in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 had earned between £160,000 and £224,000.

Hughes had his accountant send a letter providing details of his wife's earnings for the years 2004 to 2006.

Lenders again said that had they known the income details were false they would not have approved the loan request.

In October 2007 the Bridge of Weir property was sold for £700,000, resulting in Hughes receiving £128,885 of criminal property. A week later £200,000 was transferred from the couple's joint account to Hughes's personal account. He then bought a Rolex for £30,000 in Glasgow.

Hughes, who was bailed, will be sentenced next month. He faces a proceeds of crime hearing. He has a previous conviction for possession of a knife.

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