Jail for fraud to lower divorce settlement

A man has been given an 18 month prison sentence for committing fraud and perjury in an attempt to deceive the divorce court about his assets, and thereby reduce the financial settlement awarded to his wive.

Stephen Hughes, aged 48, presented forged cheques to builders and invoices, claiming he had spent a lot of money on construction work at one of his properties. It was discovered that the money had in fact been sent to various bank accounts in an attempt to conceal it from the court, and some of it was used on luxurious holidays and to purchase a house in Cape Verde. The fraud was uncovered during a dispute over a different foreign property contested in the divorce.

Mr Hughes was jailed for 18 months. Detective Constable of the Lancaster CID, Ciara Campbell, said the case should serve as a warning to people hoping to 'trick' the divorce court. 

If you live in Northern Ireland and require legal advice in respect of a potential divorce or separation, contact one of the family law solicitors at Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 1363. Or to read information on divorce and family issues click here.