High Court divorce ruling serves as warning shot to asset non-disclosure offenders

A husband has been imprisoned following a failure to disclose details about his assets in a divorce case which has dragged on for four years. Former middle man for the worlds wealthiest, Scot Young, was once worth upwards of £400m meaning that his wife and mother to his children, felt entitled to a sizeable chunk upon divorce. In fact, she believed 50% to be a fair share only to discover that Mr Young considered himself bankrupt.

Mr Young initially offered a convincing account of how he may have lost his fortune, however his wife’s persistent calls for an investigation into the true state of his finances led the court to issue him with an order to fully disclose his assets.

Needless to say, Mr Young was not keen to do so and instead he provided information which was either suspect or woefully inadequate. Furthermore, his attempts to avoid the Court and its questions saw him pull out of court appearances hours before he was due to stand trial blaming health problems.

As a result of Mr Young’s delaying of the court process, he had already been given a suspended sentence. However, the threat of a prison sentence did not push him to fully disclose his finances and he succeeded in delaying the course of justice for almost three years using mental health problems resulting from pressure exerted by his ex-wife and the media as an excuse.

Last week is appears that the Court’s patience finally ran out resulting in the decision to jail Mr Young for six months, citing contempt of court. Jail terms for failure to disclose financial information during divorce proceedings are unheard of, but the decision will no doubt send out a clear message to others.

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