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Police yet to move on alleged tax fugitive

William Millard

Neither the Director of Public Prosecutions nor local police have received a request from US authorities to help find alleged tax fugitive and Grand Cayman resident William Millard, said to owe more than $100 million.

According to US news reports, Mr Millard, 79, founder of California-based ComputerLand retail chain, valued at more than $1 billion in the 1970s and 1980s, has been tracked to Grand Cayman after private investigators, hired by New York law firm Kobre & Kim, found him initially in Orlando, Florida.

“The Financial Crimes Unit has not received any requests for assistance in this matter at all,” FCU chief Detective Superintendent Brian Donley said.

“We have not been approached, but any request would first come through the Director of Public Prosecutions,” he said.

The multi-millionaire was last seen in Saipan, a US possession in the Pacific, part of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, where tax authorities handed down a deficiency notice to Mr Millard in 1991, followed by a $36 million tax judgement in 1994 from the US District Court.

The Millards, however, left, Saipan in 1990 under pressure from local residents and officials, angered by his unorthodox approach and accusations of corruption. Abandoning a partially built hilltop castle, the Millards vanished, leaving a loose trail through Singapore, Hong Kong, Brussels and Ireland and have been linked to 50 shell companies, trusts and bank accounts.

ComputerLand, with more than 800 stores, was among the largest retail chains in the US, and enabled its founder to acquire a Tudor mansion in Oakland, California, a fleet of private jets, including a Learjet and a Falcon 50.

Investigators for New York’s Kobre & Kim, hired by Northern Mariana’s officials, finally tracked Mr Millard last year to the Orlando, Florida, home of his daughter Barbara, and from there to Grand Cayman.

Mr Millard’s house in Grand Cayman

Kobre and Kim partner and lead attorney on the case, Michael Kim, and head of the firm’s public relations department Melissa Seitter, told iNews yesterday they were not prepared to answer questions. Mr Kim earlier told the Wall Street Journal, however, that “this is one of the most sophisticated and complicated cases of asset structuring that I have ever seen.

“I hope he will do the right thing and pay his debts,” he said noting they had ballooned from the original judgement after the 20-year accrual of interest payments, “, “But most people do not let go of $100 million easily.”

Yesterday at the Millard family home in Britannia Estates, Mr Millard’s wife Patricia refused to comment.

She said: “In no way, shape of form will I be interviewed.”

Mrs Milliard then directed our reporter to their attorney in the US.


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