Julian Messent, 50, resigned in 2006 as chief executive officer at insurance firm PWS – founded by former UKIP leader Lord Pearson – after admitting to funnelling £1.2m worth of corrupt payments to government officials in Costa Rica between February 1999 and June 2002.
The payments were made while Messent was a director of the company’s international property division and his pay was directly linked to the amount of business he won, Southwark Crown Court heard. In 2003, he became the company’s CEO.
Sentencing him to 21 months in prison, Judge Rivlin said: “It is plain, Mr Messent, that you were deeply involved in the decision making and the process of these crimes. You orchestrated them.”