The police are on the hunt for Raymond Nevitt, former head at Manchester-based reseller Ravelle Group who absconded after being found guilty of fraud totalling £3.25m, which he had used to fund a playboy lifestyle.
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Nevitt, convicted for five counts of fraudulent trading at Manchester Crown Court recently, was due to be sentenced on the week starting 28 April. Other directors, including Jeremy Greene, were found guilty of three counts of fraud and Kay Boardman pleaded guilty at a pre-trial hearing to one count.
The judge granted Nevitt pre-sentence bail but he disappeared and international arrest warrants have since been issued. He is believed to be hiding out in Marbella, Spain.
The conviction was the result of a four year investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) concerning the fraudulent activities of the Ravelle Group, including Ravelle Ltd, PC2GO Ltd and Ravelle Printers trading as Just Printers Ltd.
Started in 1991, Ravelle disassembled PC components and resold them individually, as did Ravelle printers. PC2GO sold refurbished PCs from a shop but the court heard how the businesses faltered due to poor buying decisions.
From 1998 onwards, sales were falling and cash-flow issues were evident yet the company continued trading despite knowingly having no prospect of paying trade suppliers, the first part of the fraud.
The second related to "fresh air" trading and "circular trading" when Nevitt presented made-up invoices as real ones to borrow money against them from factoring companies.
He defrauded IBM Global Services of £1.6m and Barclays Sales Finance lost £654,857. Trade creditors lost around £1m.
The case was referred to the SFO by Manchester Police in 2001 following concerns expressed by the administrator after the company was placed in receivership.
Detective Constable Julian King of the Greater Manchester Police said the scams funded Nevitt’s "opulent and lavish lifestyle". He told how Nevitt owned several BMW cars, a Ferrari he crashed in the Gumball Rally and took expensive holidays.