Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

World-Famous Conservationist 'Was Part of PS60m Eco-Projects Tax Scam'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

World-Famous Conservationist 'Was Part of PS60m Eco-Projects Tax Scam'

Article excerpt

Byline: Tristan Kirk Courts Reporter

A RENOWNED conservationist was part of a PS60 million tax dodge through projects tackling climate change and the spread of HIV, a court heard.

Professor Ian Swingland, who was given an OBE in 2007, allegedly helped investors avoid tax on PS170 million of income during the three-year scam.

Swingland, 69, founded the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology in 1989 at the University of Kent, which is now a world-leading research facility into biodiversity, communities and sustainable development.

He is on trial at Southwark crown court with Anthony Blakey, 65, John Banyard, 67, Martin King, 54, and Andrew Bascombe, 58, accused of operating "a series of dishonest tax schemes" between 2005 and 2008.

Prosecutor Julian Christopher QC said: "They were opportunities to invest in research designed to counter-act the effects of climate change and to find a cure for HIV. They were designed to be attractive to people who had a large amount of income that they would rather not pay tax on. …

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