Jail for man who lied to reduce wife’s divorce settlement

Stephen Hughes
Stephen Hughes
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A man who lied to a judge in order to prevent his wife getting a fair divorce settlement has been jailed.

Stephen Hughes, 48, of Lodges Grove, Morecambe, tried to make it appear as though he had spent a large sum of money on building work at a property that he owned in the resort so that he did not have to give his wife a full settlement.

During divorce proceedings at Lancaster’s County Court in 2009, Hughes presented the judge with a number of cheques and invoices that he had falsified to make it look as though he had paid out substantial sums of money for the building work.

He had actually been transferring the cash to alternative bank accounts and used the money to buy a property in Cape Verde and go on expensive holidays.

His deception was revealed during a dispute over another foreign property.

Appearing at Preston Crown Court today, Hughes, was jailed for 18 months for fraud and perjury.

“This case was one of the most complex I have investigated due to the various different financial transactions involved and Hughes’ thorough attempts to hide the money from his wife,” said detective constable Ciara Campbell, Lancaster CID.

“He created convincing cheques to, and invoices from, builders which were for often tens of thousands of pounds more than the work had actually cost.

“He then knowingly lied to the judge and the court in order to get his divorce through with a substantially reduced financial settlement.”