Accountant “faked bankruptcy” to dodge divorce settlement

A MILLIONAIRE ACCOUNTANT fabricated personal insolvency in order to avoid a divorce pay-out, claims his estranged wife.

Sofia Arif said her husband, Arif Anwar Zar, hid his money behind “sham debts” to a son from a previous marriage and two friends, reports the Daily Mail.

Zar, who denies the accusations, declared himself insolvent under debts of £2.3m four months after his wife filed for divorce in June 2011.

His wife’s barrister, James Ewins, told judges at the Royal Courts of Justice: “The husband has relied in his bankruptcy on at least £1.9million of sham debts allegedly owed by the husband to his own son, Raziz Rehan [from a previous marriage], and two friends.

“It is the wife’s case that most, if not all, of what Raziz Rehan claims to own is in fact held by him for his father, and his father can call on it whenever he wants.”

He added that in the absence of the sham debts, the husband would not have been balance sheet bankrupt because he would have remaining assets of at least £1.6million.

“The husband had made a thinly veiled threat that he would make himself bankrupt”, said Ewins. “In doing so, he knew exactly what he was doing.

“The husband and his creditors are, on the wife’s case, perpetrating a fraud against her, an innocent third party in the bankruptcy … none of that is surprising but neither is it fair or just.”

The hearing came after a judge’s instruction that the challenge to his bankruptcy be heard before a divorce judge, which Ewins said would subject Zar’s financial dealings to greater scrutiny.

Mrs Arif’s bid to have her husband’s bankruptcy annulled will now be heard by a Chancery judge, independently from her financial claim in the divorce courts. Both hearings are expected to go ahead later this year.

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