Former E-Clear boss ordered to hand over £7.5m home

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The former boss of collapsed payment processing firm E-Clear has been told to hand over a £7.5 million Knightsbridge home five years after his bankruptcy.

Elias Elia has spent years claiming the property was not his because he had sold it to his mother for £25,000.

But judges ruled the transaction was a sham and ordered the Cypriot entrepreneur to vacate it, the London Evening Standard reported.

Elia was made bankrupt in 2011 after E-Clear went bust. The collapse is said to have triggered the failure of Scottish airline Flyglobespan due to unpaid debts from E-Clear.

Elia had personally guaranteed the company’s borrowings and after he was made bankrupt a legal battle commenced over the home in Rutland Gardens, a private gated road near Hyde Park.

It was purchased in 2009 for £4 million, with a £2.8 million mortgage, but is now worth £7.5 million, the Court of Appeal heard.

Elia claimed that evicting him would breach his human rights and said he was a tenant of his mother.

But Lord Justice Hamblen ruled against him and gave him until today to leave.

“Mrs Elia had no interest in the property and therefore there was no basis for Mr Elia having any tenancy in the property at all,” he said.

The judge added that his mother, a wealthy woman with a large property portfolio in Cyprus, could afford to find her son a new home.

The Rutland Gardens property, which increased in value by £1.5 million during the five-year legal battle, is now due to be handed to bankruptcy trustees.

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