Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Too Poor to Repay My Fortune Made from Crime, Claims Gang Boss Adams

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

I'm Too Poor to Repay My Fortune Made from Crime, Claims Gang Boss Adams

Article excerpt

Byline: EXCLUSIVE Martin Bentham Home Affairs Editor

BRITAIN'S most feared gangster claims he is too poor to pay back his illegal profits, despite evidence that he enjoys an "extravagant" lifestyle funded by vast hidden wealth.

Terry Adams, the head of a notorious north London crime gang, made his plea of poverty at the High Court after lodging documents stating that he cannot afford to meet unpaid debts to the taxpayer of more than [pounds sterling]600,000.

But prosecutors said it was "inconceivable" that Adams -- once exposed for buying cosmetic surgery, a Cartier watch and country club membership with undisclosed funds -- was so poor.

They argued instead that the crime boss had "extended capital" and accused him of using "associates and sham companies" to conceal his wealth as they called on the judge to reject an attempt to have his debts written off.

The disclosures follow a call by Met Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe for an overhaul of the law so criminals who fail to repay their debts can be kept in jail until they hand over the money.

Adams, who hung a screen print of Al Pacino in The Godfather on the living room wall of his [pounds sterling]1.6 million former Mill Hill home, was in court to apply for a "certificate of inadequacy" that would write off debts. He owes [pounds sterling]616,812 on a confiscation order of [pounds sterling]750,000 imposed after his 2007 conviction for conspiring to conceal the proceeds of criminal conduct over a six-year period.

He was also ordered to pay prosecution costs of [pounds sterling]50,000 and the [pounds sterling]4.6 million bill for his publicly funded defence after the court heard he had amassed what a judge later described as a "considerable fortune" from his life as "a highly successful career criminal" over a "significant" period of time.

At yesterday's hearing, however, prosecuting barrister Kennedy Talbot submitted a document to Mr Justice Nicol revealing that Adams now claims to be too poor to pay his debts. …

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