Monday, March 06, 2006

Mills and the single mother

A single mother living on a council estate in London's East End is recorded as a director or company secretary of 19 companies which Mr Mills established on behalf of his Italian clients.

Mills is linked to a corrupt land deal involving a convicted criminal

The following is extracted from The Guardian 6 February 2006

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/labour/story/0,,1724362,00.html

1. The allegation that Mr Mills had raised his wife's status during a tax investigation prompted Tory MPs to question whether he had received special treatment. During the investigation, Mr Mills told his accountant he had received £350,000, which he initially said came from Mr Berlusconi, and now maintains came from another Italian client. The money - which was used to help pay a £625,000 mortgage on the couple's north London home - had not been declared to the taxman.

The leaked documents reveal that Mr Mills asked his accountant whether the special compliance office of Revenue & Customs needed to be contacted in view of his wife's position. It is not clear whether this was a plea for special treatment or not. Nevertheless, a number of tax specialists have suggested that the level of tax, interest and penalties which Mr Mills subsequently paid could be regarded as lenient.

2. Earlier in the week it emerged that Mr Mills had referred to his wife's status and claimed the "support and sympathy" of the prime minister in dealings with financial regulators in Dubai.

3. Questions were also asked yesterday about the single mother living on a council estate in London's East End who is recorded as a director or company secretary of 19 companies which Mr Mills established on behalf of his Italian clients.

4. Mr Mills was also linked to a corrupt land deal involving the convicted criminal whom he now insists was the source of the £350,000 payment at the heart of many of the couple's problems.

Italian prosecutors are reported to have discovered that Mr Mills was the administrator of a company registered in the Isle of Man that bought into the deal in the port of Salerno in 1992. The chief beneficiary, Diego Attanasio, was jailed for bribing officials to ensure the deal went through, and is now appealing against his sentence. This would mean, according to Mr Mills' current account of his affairs and according to Ms Jowell's statement last week to Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, that their London home was paid for, in part, by a convicted criminal.


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