Who exactly is Baron Michael Ashcroft?
According to Wikipedia :
” He is an international businessman, philanthropist and politician. He holds dual British and Belizean nationality, and is a Belonger of the Turks & Caicos Islands. He sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative member.
On 1 March 2010, after 10 years of holding his tax status as private, he revealed that he did not pay tax on his overseas earnings in the UK. He is a former Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party.”
An article in the Guardian looked into his links to Belize:
Perhaps, but the country’s most famous businessman, not to mention the Tory party’s biggest donor, has a strange way of showing it. For Ashcroft is hardly seen in the small Central American country, home to just 300,000 people and one of the poorest economies in the world. His beach-front house remains empty for months on end, while bored security guards sit staring out to sea, waiting for a luxury yacht that seldom comes.”
Such is his position that in 2007, when his Belize Bank faced 80 separate charges of failing to comply with anti-money-laundering laws – charges the bank firmly denied – the case was withdrawn for fear that any damage to the bank would trigger the collapse of the Belizean economy.
The country’s prime minister, Dean Barrow, put things into perspective this year when he told its parliament: “Ashcroft is an extremely powerful man. His net worth may well be equal to Belize’s entire GDP.
He is nobody to cross.”
In 2002, the New York Times reported on an investigation into the sale of Ashcroft’s home in Florida:
” Manhattan prosecutors investigating L. Dennis Kozlowski, the former chief executive of Tyco International, will reopen an inquiry into two transactions in which the $2.5 million home of a Tyco director was sold to the company’s general counsel, a senior investigator said yesterday.
Tyco’s shares, meanwhile, plunged yesterday after the company’s credit rating was downgraded and it said that it might have to delay a sale of CIT, its financing arm.
The 1997 transactions that transferred the home of the Tyco board member, Lord Ashcroft, had come under scrutiny in an investigation three years ago, according to the senior investigator and a lawyer close to the inquiry. Lord Ashcroft, the former chairman of ADT, the security firm, joined Tyco’s board after Tyco bought ADT in July 1997.
Prosecutors in the office of the Manhattan district attorney, Robert M. Morgenthau, began the earlier investigation because they viewed the transactions as unusual, the senior investigator said. Property records in Florida show that Lord Ashcroft sold the home in Boca Raton to his wife for $100 and then she immediately sold it to Byron Kalogerou, Tyco’s vice president and general counsel, for $2.5 million. The records show that both transactions took place on Oct. 27, 1997; Lord Ashcroft bought the home in 1990 for $2.3 million.
Calls to Lord Ashcroft at his office in New York were not returned.”
David Cameron gave a government advisory role for veterans to Ashcroft.
Lord Oakeshott said of the appointment:
“Lord Ashcroft’s qualifications for this task are his collection of old Victoria Crosses, years of private plane and yacht rides with William Hague, and a decade of vast Tory donations as a secret non dom.
“The government has still not brought in the simple order needed to ban non-dom donations to political parties under the 2009 Political Parties and Elections Act. The Queen’s Speech promised to remove big money from politics, not reward big donors.
“What on earth is his hold over Cameron and Hague?”
This is how a close former colleague of Ashcroft remembers him:
“He is cruel and he seems to get sadistic pleasure from beating the other guy to the deal. He is driven not so much by the money as by the skill it takes to get it.”
A commentator said this:
” In short, Lord Ashcroft has been able to ruthlessly pursue his business dealings, making a huge personal fortune, without paying any tax to either the British or Belizean governments.”
Baron Ashcroft is the Chair of Trustees of Crimestoppers along with Nick Ross.
Baron Ashcroft paid for Liam Fox to travel to Tel Aviv.
Is there more to Michael Ashcroft than meets the eye?