British tax consultant who stole HK$31 million from clients is jailed for nine years in Hong Kong
11 Jul 2016

A British tax consultant who stole HK$31 million from four clients was jailed for nine years in the High Court on Monday.

Deborah Annells, 57, was earlier convicted of 47 charges of theft, fraud and possession of a false instrument. Together with an earlier conviction for perverting the course of justice, she will spend 10.5 years in prison.

Mr Justice Kevin Zervos said the defendant had “no concept of right or wrong”.

Upon hearing her sentence, Annells looked calm before she was escorted out of the courtroom.

Annells founded AzureTax, which handled the tax affairs of expatriates in Hong Kong and was involved in setting up trust funds. She was arrested in December 2011 for offences that occurred between June 2009 and August 2011.

In mitigation, Annells, a chartered accountant who came to Hong Kong in 1994, said she had been promoting the city as an international financial centre over the years and that she misappropriated her clients’ money because she wanted to keep her heavily indebted business afloat.

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