Faith was one such conduit. Another was Sebastian Coe, the Olympic gold medallist. Levitt made a big show of sponsoring boxer Lennox Lewis, ensnaring yet more potential clients.
All went well until Christmas 1990 when Fimbra, the watchdog for financial advisers, raided Levitt’s West End offices. The business folded, sending Faith and the rest running for cover.
Levitt went on trial accused of fraud and theft. The SFO prosecutor persuaded him to plead guilty to a charge of misleading Fimbra in return for dropping the more serious charges, but made a monstrous miscalculation. The judge found that the crime could be punished with nothing more onerous than community service.
Levitt walked free from court smiling more broadly than ever. He has spent the last few years in New York, including a brief stint as a boxing promoter. The DTI tried to extradite him a couple of years ago for running a UK business in defiance of a director’s ban, but the alleged offence was not covered by the US-UK extradition treaty.
Faith never liked to be reminded about the Levitt link, although some have been more forthcoming. Writer Frederick Forsyth lost more than £2 million when The Levitt Group folded. He once told me that he had been the guest of honour at Levitt’s son’s bar mitzvah. ‘I later found out why,’ he told me, wryly. ‘I was paying for it.’
Does Darwin's theory apply to taxation? Colin ponders...
The EC has been instructed to draft a European Union (EU) directive authorising an EU financial transaction tax, which would apply to ten of the EU’s 28 member states
Accountancy watchdog the FRC has dropped its investigation into the former chief financial officer of Tesco, nearly two years after the supermarket was engulfed in an accounting scandal
Colin imagines how Apple's logo might change in the wake of the EC's ruling over its Irish tax arrangements