A lottery winner who scooped £2.5million and enjoyed shopping sprees at Harrods and flash holidays has been forced to pay back £6million after she was found to be part of a money-laundering group.
Amanda Nuttall, 45, won the jackpot 11 years ago, spending the money on private jets to Dubai, a sprawling country mansion and a private education for her children.
But after an eight-year investigation by the National Crime Agency, she and two others have been ordered to forfeit £6million after they were exposed as part of a multi-million pound fraud racket.
She and her husband, Jonathan, 46, who has previous convictions for VAT evasion and benefit fraud, spent her winnings and millions more on sending their three children to Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, which costs £38,000 a year.
The investigation found he had amassed ‘considerable wealth’ through ‘unlawful conduct’ linked to the Russian state, but had put the money in his wife’s name.
The court order will see Mrs Nuttall and two others forfeit 11 properties, including the award-winning White Horse Hotel in Romsey, Hampshire.
The couple had a property on the luxury Embley Park estate in Romsey and rented a £2,000-a-week flat in London’s Belgravia.
A Bentley Mulsanne was among several luxury cars parked on the driveway.
Their lavish lifestyle fell under scrutiny when they were unable to explain how all the money was being generated or give a consistent account of how the lottery money was being spent.
The NCA analysed 100,000 transactions over several years and found that cash appeared to have been embezzled from the Russian state and earned through fraud conducted in the UK.
The High Court has imposed orders on Mrs Nuttall, of Romsey, Hampshire, property tycoon Eric Grove, 89, of Solihull, and barrister Timothy Becker, 55, of London.
All three were found to have benefited from the proceeds of crime.
Mr Nuttall was not issued with an order after moving funds to his wife’s accounts, the hearing was told.
Andy Lewis, Head of Asset Denial at the NCA, said: ‘He is not himself a party to the claim.
‘That is because he structured his business affairs so that he didn’t hold any of the recoverable property himself, leaving everything in the name of his wife and others.
‘Recovering assets that have been illegally obtained is a priority for the NCA and we are pleased that our commitment to this investigation into Mr Nuttall and his associates has paid off in agreeing this settlement.
‘The defendants were of high standing within their communities with interest in local properties and businesses. Crime most certainly has not paid in this case.’