Disgraced tycoon Nadir faces jail after 17 years on run

City A.M. Reporter
Turkish Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir, who jumped bail in 1993, was finally convicted in a British court today of plundering millions from his old company to buy antiques, race horses and country houses.

Nadir, who transformed the small textile company Polly Peck into one of the top British stocks of the 1980s, returned to Britain in 2010 after 17 years as a fugitive in northern Cyprus.

Once one of Britain's richest men, Nadir hung Turner watercolours in his office and had two English country estates and homes in the wealthy London districts of Mayfair and Hampstead.

He was found guilty of stealing £29m from Polly Peck, a conglomerate with interests in everything from fruit packing to electronics. The firm collapsed in 1990 when officials began a fraud probe.

It was one of Britain's biggest corporate failures, leaving thousands of shareholders and employees out of pocket. Some saw its rapid rise and fall as emblematic of the excesses of the 1980s and a precursor to the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

The judge will sentence Nadir on Thursday. The maximum penalty for theft is seven years in jail.