A Dubai court has ordered a Briton accused by Denmark of massive tax fraud to pay Copenhagen’s tax authority $1.25bn (£1.1bn), court documents show.
The Dubai Court of Appeal order against Sanjay Shah comes as part of a civil case brought four years ago by Denmark’s tax authority, which has pursued him as part of its investigation into a of the largest tax fraud cases in the country.
Shah has maintained his innocence in the case while fighting extradition.
A spokesman for Shah, Jack Irvine, said Shah’s lawyers planned to appeal the sentence. This appeal would be heard by the Dubai Court of Cassation, the emirate’s highest court.
Denmark has accused Shah of masterminding an elaborate tax scheme over three years starting in 2012 that involved foreign companies purporting to own shares in Danish companies and claiming tax refunds for which they were not eligible.
The Danish tax authority, Skatestyrelsen, filed the civil case against Shah in 2018 through a local Dubai law firm. In its decision on Wednesday, the Court of Appeal in Dubai said Denmark had sought $1.9 billion (£1.67 billion) from Shah and his alleged accomplices.
The Shah’s lifestyle on Dubai’s luxurious palm-shaped island in recent years had sparked outrage in Denmark.
After Danish authorities signed an extradition deal with the United Arab Emirates, Dubai police arrested Shah in June. He is one of several suspects in the tax scheme sought by Danish authorities.
During his time in Dubai, the hedge fund manager ran a center for autistic children that closed in 2020 when Denmark tried to extradite him.
He also oversaw a British charity, Autism Rocks, which raised funds through concerts and performances.
On Monday, another court in Dubai ruled that Shah cannot be extradited to Denmark to face charges.
Attorneys representing Shah in the case told The Associated Press on Thursday that prosecutors had filed an appeal to overturn that decision.
The extradition case against Shah comes as pressure grows on Dubai, the region’s financial hub, over alleged weaknesses in the fight against illicit finance.
The United Arab Emirates, a federation of seven emirates, has long invited the wealthy to invest in the country without questioning where their money came from.
Scrutiny of Dubai has intensified as the city-state becomes a haven for Russian money amid Moscow’s war on Ukraine.