Oil trader facing jail over non-payments after £17.5m divorce ruling

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An oil trader who was ordered to stump up more than £17.5 million after one of Britain’s biggest divorce battles could be jailed for not making all of his payments.

Nigerian businessman Michael Prest had an estimated worth of £37.5 million before he was ordered to make a lump sum payment of £17.5 million to his ex-wife Yasmin Prest in 2011.

He was also told to hand over ongoing maintenance payments of nearly £300,000 a year.

The couple are now locked in a further legal wrangle over claims Mr Prest failed to pay more than £360,000 of what was owed.

After a High Court judge previously ruled against Mr Prest in the latest dispute, his lawyers today appeared at the Court of Appeal in a bid to overturn that decision and keep him away from prison.

Three appeal judges analysed argument from legal teams representing Mr and Ms Prest and said they would announce a decision at a later date.

Mr Justice Moylan previously passed sentence after concluding that Mr Prest had wilfully refused or neglected to hand money to Ms Prest in breach of a court order.

Judges have heard that the couple, who married in 1993 and divorced in 2011, had spent most of their time in London when together, had properties in Nigeria and the Caribbean and had lived to a “very high standard”.


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