* UPDATE 170316: London Fields Brewery boss Jules Wilkinson has been charged with offences over income tax, VAT and national-insurance and student-loan contributions. He denies the allegations and is due to appear before Thames magistrates in May 2016. The tax department, HMRC, has been investigating his accounts and assets for two years
* UPDATE 210316: Wilkinson announces he wants to sell the brewery – which no longer brews on site but buys in beer – for £3 million
THE DRUG-DEALING former life of a top Hackney businessman has been exposed in more detail by his latest court case.
Westminster Magistrates’ Court was told that convicted cocaine smuggler Jules Whiteway, co-owner and co-founder of London Fields Brewery, had paid £265,115 of the £2.1 million profit he was ordered to repay and that he owed £1.2 million of interest on the outstanding amount.
Much of that is said to be held in assets out of reach of prosecutors, despite the former public schoolboy – full name Julian de Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson, above, with brewer Fabio Israel – facing up to eight years’ jail for non-payment.
“Jules Whiteway”, as he is usually known, was jailed in 2004 for 12 years, after Southwark Crown Court was told how he supplied drugs to City and music-biz high-fliers and celebrities. He was convicted with three others when he admitted conspiracy to supply cocaine.
He was released early from his sentence.
In the latest case, at Westminster court, barrister Gavin Irwin said Whiteway could pay off the debt within two years, when the brewery was expected to be making millions of pounds.
He had sold expensive personal items, and had travelled to Spain to recover almost £100,000 from bank accounts, which indicated he wanted to repay the money.
District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe decided to let Whiteway defer repayment until next year 2015 at the earliest. She agreed not to stipulate higher monthly repayments, although she emphasised he would have to repay a “significant” lump sum when the case returned to court.
The district judge added that promises of payments to come in such cases were often not fulfilled.
After asking for evidence of the brewery’s ownership, she was told the entrepreneur’s ownership in the company was shared with his wife. The judge commented: “We have many people who come here showing assets that have suddenly gone to their partner, or a dominant shareholding in a company that becomes less dominant.
“The court wants to see some reassurance that this is not suddenly going to disappear.”
Before the court case that led to his conviction, Whiteway had told his family that he worked as a party planner.
Instead, the trained pilot held coke-and-sex parties in Hoxton, funded by imports of drugs flown to Britain by light plane. When police raided a premises in Brick Lane, they found £200,000 in a bag and in another high-purity cocaine that weighed in at 15kg.
Hamish Scott 111114
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