Tate Brothers handles business the orthodox way

Lawyers for controversial influencer Andrew Tate have told a London court that payments to his online business were processed in a “completely legitimate” manner.

Police are trying to claim £2.8m of what they say is unpaid tax on the income of Mr Tate, his brother Tristan and a third person called J.

The court heard the brothers were “persistent” and “disguised” tax evaders – and made £21m from online businesses including Only Fans – a website notorious for its pornography.

They are accused of setting up a “network” of bank accounts.

Martin Evans KC, representing Tates, said on Tuesday the way the money was transferred was “entirely legitimate”.

“There were transfers into Tates’ account. That was the beginning, middle and end of it. What there wasn’t was separation,” he told the court.

He said the couple did not “cheat” to get the money and should be allowed to keep it.

Andrew Tate, 37, and Tristan, 35, were not present in court for the two-day hearing.

They were arrested in December last year on charges of rape, human trafficking and forming a criminal gang – charges they deny and are due to stand trial in Romania.

Their current bail conditions do not allow them to leave the European Union.

Sarah Clarke KC, representing Devon and Cornwall Police, said they did not pay any tax on their income in any country.

She said the money was “transferred” to several bank accounts in the UK.

“Wash is not a banking term. The banking term is transfer. What happened was completely legitimate; multiple transfers from the payment platform to Tates,” Mr Evans told the court.

On Monday, Ms Clarke cited a video posted online by Andrew Tate, in which he said: “When I lived in the UK, I refused to pay tax.”

The court heard he said his approach was to “ignore, ignore, ignore because eventually they will disappear”.

The court also heard that the brothers had “a large number of bank accounts” in the UK, seven of which had been frozen.

The proceedings are civil, using a lower standard of proof than criminal cases.

Chief Magistrate Paul Goldspring will decide on the merits whether police have the power to freeze £2.8m worth of bank accounts and assets belonging to Tates and J.

He said he would reserve his judgment until a later date.


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