Strictly star Laila Rouass' former husband is jailed for nine years for his part in £250m VAT fraud

  • 'Nasa' Khan allowed gang of international fraudsters to launder cash through his companies
  • Khan is father to Rouass's four-year-old daughter

Guilty: Khan was convicted of transferring the proceeds of criminal conduct at court on Friday

He was one of Britain’s richest young entrepreneurs, with a £45million fortune and a glamorous actress – Laila Rouass – as his wife.

Nasa Khan enjoyed all the trappings of success with a £5.5million mansion in Spain, exclusive riverfront properties in London worth £5million, a yacht and a fleet of high-powered sports cars.

But today the businessman was jailed for nine years after being convicted for his part in a £250million VAT fraud.

Jailing Khan, Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith said: ‘Quite why somebody who had been as successful as you were would decide to become involved in fraud I very much doubt this court will ever know.

‘I suspect the enormous profits which were available in the fraud were too great for you to resist, the figures speak for themselves...

‘You have one previous conviction for insurance fraud otherwise you tried to paint yourself as a we have seen from the press cuttings as a generous provide to charities and also as an upstanding role model for others when in truth you were nothing of the kind.

‘You were very close to the heard of the fraud and you benefited hugely from it.

‘There’s little difference between the architect of the fraud and the architect of the money laundering schemes which are essential in fraud of this type.'

Khan was found guilty last week of allowing a gang of international fraudsters to launder cash through his companies in a ‘deliberate cheat on the public purse’.

Southwark Crown Court heard the 39-year-old – who has now split from former Strictly Come Dancing contestant and Holby City star Miss Rouass – netted ‘staggering profits’, pocketing £15million from the scam.

His role as a lynchpin can be revealed after a judge lifted reporting restrictions yesterday.

Michael Parroy QC, prosecuting, said: ‘The loss of tax revenue ran into millions and millions of pounds and those involved made a lot of money.’

Khan, arriving at court, left and Laila Rouass, right have a four-year-old daughter

‘All of it was made by cheating the taxpayers so money which should have paid for hospitals or schools was being diverted into the pockets of a group of dishonest people.

Khan shot to prominence with The Accessory People in 1995.

The son of a Surrey bus driver and newsagent, he borrowed £2,000 from friends and was later named the Department of Trade and Industry and Bank of England’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year when the mobile phone accessories firm took off.

At the age of 29, he was valued at £45million and featured in The Sunday Times Rich List as the seventh richest in Britain under the age of 30, just behind David and Victoria Beckham on £50million.

But as the accessory market declined around 2001, his company began a fraudulent wholesale trade in mobile phones, boosting turnover from £13million in 2002 to £219million in 2003.

The scam involved bogus UK companies buying high value mobile phones in Europe.

The phones were then moved through a number of British firms before being sold back to Europe.

Through a series of rapid transactions, often taking place in less than a day, the fraudsters were able to exploit UK tax laws and claim vast sums in VAT rebates.

Show stopping: Laila Rouass and Anton Du Beke appeared in Strictly Come Dancing in 2009

Khan used his company and other firms, including Direct Accessories Ltd, to launder the cash.

Using the profits he bought a Marbella villa with a pool and home cinema, a £40,000 yacht and cars including a Rolls-Royce, Bentley, Ferrari 599, Lamborghini Gallardo, BMW X6 and M5 and a Range Rover Supersport.

Pink lady: Footballer's Wives and Holby City Star Laila Rouass wearing one of her Strictly costumes

Khan also snapped up a Chelsea Harbour apartment and two waterside apartments at Putney Wharf in London.

He spent £100,000 just on parking spaces.

In 2004 he bought a diamond wedding ring for Footballers’ Wives actress Miss Rouass.

The couple held a lavish wedding party at private members’ club Home House in 2005.

Although they had a religious ceremony, their wedding was never made official.

The couple had a daughter but the relationship foundered after 14 months and they split when Khan was accused of cheating on Miss Rouass with her cousin.

In August 2008, fraud investigators for HM Revenue and Customs arrested Khan as he jetted into Heathrow from Gibraltar, where he had been living.

Fourteen others have already been jailed for their parts in one of the UK’s largest ever ‘missing trader’ frauds.