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Cash fight tycoon 'altered empire'

A businessman embroiled in a High Court cash fight with his estranged wife had "restructured his empire", a financial investigator told a judge today.

Scot Young, 51 - who is in dispute with estranged wife Michelle Young, 49 - had "moved assets around", financial investigator Burke Files told Mr Justice Moor.

Mrs Young, 49, estimates that Mr Young, 51, is worth ''a few billion at least'' and says ''there was a vast fortune hidden''. She says she wants her fair share and would settle for £300 million plus legal expenses.

Mr Young disputes Mrs Young's claims and says he is penniless and bankrupt, a victim of financial meltdown and ''hopelessly insolvent''.

The case - in the Family Division of the High Court in London - began on October 31 and is expected to last several weeks.

Mr Justice Moor says he will have to decide how much Mr Young is worth.

The judge has heard that the Youngs, who both live in London and have two daughters, separated in 2006 after starting a relationship in 1989.

They have been fighting over money for several years.

Mrs Young has told the court that she enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle when living with Mr Young.

And Mr Files, who had been asked to investigate Mr Young's finances by Mrs Young, said Mr Young had "restructured his empire" by "moving assets around".

"This is not unusual in the least bit," Mr Files told the court today. "The money is a tool. It goes back into the system to be used."

He added: "The velocity of the money circulation ... can only be guessed."

The trial is being staged in private but Mr Justice Moor has given permission for it to be reported.


From Belfast Telegraph