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Lord Ashcroft Implicated In Tyco Investigation

by Mike Godfrey,, Washington

12 August 2002

Former UK Tory Party Treasurer, Lord Ashcroft has found himself under investigation in connection with Tyco, the Bermuda-based US company headed by Dennis Kozlowski, who was forced to resign following allegations of tax evasion.

It has since been alleged that in addition to committing sales tax evasion on several works of art, Mr Kozlowski also dug deep into Tyco's pockets to finance his lavish lifestyle, despite having been paid around $400 million over a four year period.

Now, according to a report in the UK's Guardian newspaper on Friday, Manhattan District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau has expanded his investigation into improper accounting practices and tax fraud to include other Tyco executives, Lord Ashcroft among them.

According to the newspaper, 'Lord Ashcroft is already under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the US financial regulator, for a deal involving the $2.5 million sale of his former Florida home. Lord Ashcroft had sold the property to his wife for $100 just months before.'

The Guardian also revealed that the Tory peer is one of four former and current Tyco directors named in two class action lawsuits which allege that 'false and misleading statements about Tyco's business', and 'insider trading on a massive scale' took place.

Lord Ashcroft is no stranger to controversy in the UK either. Late last year, he was accused by the Labour government of safeguarding a 'harmful tax regime' in Belize in order to protect the tax exemptions enjoyed by two of his companies located there, although as an ex-Tory party Treasurer he said the allegations were politically motivated.

The Guardian newspaper has a long history of carrying 'planted' stories on behalf of Labour Governments and Oppositions, and is never happier than when it can attack a Tory hate figure like Michael Ashcroft.

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