Jailed South Woodham Ferrers jeweller told to pay up or face prison
A CROOKED jeweller has been told to pay a quarter of a million pounds or face another three and a half years in jail.
Alexandros Kyriacou, 47, was jailed for three years in 2010 for a £250,000 tax fraud and handling stolen goods, after attempting to buy stolen Rolex watches at his shop in central London from an undercover police officer.
Now the father of five from South Woodham Ferrers was told by Southwark Crown Court to pay HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) £271,000 or face another term behind bars.
Gary Forbes, of the Criminal Taxes Unit at HMRC, said: "Alexandros Kyriacou had no hesitation in cheating his way to a lavish lifestyle by deliberately evading his tax liabilities.
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"Similarly, HMRC has no hesitation in pursuing Kyriacou both for his crime and for the proceeds of that crime.
"Our work does not stop at conviction, but continues until we have recovered the ill-gotten gains of those who cheat the honest taxpayer."
Kyriacou courted publicity in June 2009, shortly before his arrest, when his photograph was published in The Sun.
Bedecked in bling, he was quoted as saying: "The rush to sell gold is on the TV and in papers, loads of adverts asking people to sell off their gold.
"It's an effective way to raise some cash, but I do sometimes wonder just how hard up these people really are – the other day we had some gold teeth brought in."
The court had previously heard how police searched his Greville Street shop and found a new laptop recently stolen from a hospital, and a £1,095 Cartier watch taken from a raid on a Kilburn pawnbrokers.
Detectives also discovered papers leading to a safety deposit box where Kyriacou had stashed £60,000 cash.
He had also cheated the taxman out of nearly £200,000 when he applied for a second mortgage on a luxury manor house in Cold Norton.
Gerard Pounder, prosecuting on March 27, said Kyriacou was the sole director of an instant liability company called Go 4 Gold Ltd.
He had set up the business in 2002 after years working as a van driver and bouncer.
Police put the shop under surveillance in 2008, sending in an undercover officer.
And over the next few days, Kyriacou bought a number of items, including a Rolex and a Jaeger LeCoutre Reverso watch worth £2,750, before agreeing to pay £14,000 for eight stolen Rolexes.
At the 2010 trial Judge John Price had told Kyriacou: "You bought and sold stolen jewellery and watches.
"You rose from being a van driver to running a quite successful business but you cheated the revenue of £191,000.
"The police sent in an undercover agent and you were prepared to deal in goods worth around £80,000."