William H. Millard , former ComputerLand CEO was one of the world’s most-wanted tax exiles and allegedly totalled astonishing unpaid tax bills of more than $100 million for over 20 years.
William H. Millard, the 79 year-old founder of retail chain ComputerLand, was last seen by tax authorities on the remote Pacific island of Saipan in 1990.
Despite vanishing soon after selling his company, Millard has now been tracked down to the Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean, court papers said.
The astonishing news about the man once listed as one of the US richest men was revealed by the Wall Street Journal on Saturday.
The U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, which includes Saipan, is now using a law firm and investigators’ help to get the money.
William H. Millard is linked to a vast network of more than 50 shell companies, trusts and bank accounts, according to Wall Street Journal.
“This is one of the most sophisticated and complicated cases of offshore asset structuring that we have ever seen,” Michael Kim, prosecuting, said.
“Last Christmas an investigator spotted their target at dinner with one of his daughters in Florida,” Mariana government officials said.
William H. Millard has not yet commented, but his former attorney Terry Giles said it was “ludicrous and insulting” to suggest he was hiding.
College dropout William H. Millard was a 1970s technology pioneer in California and he turned ComputerLand into a huge PC retail chain.
The retail chain had around 800 stores and his stake in the company was valued at $1 billion at one point, reported the Wall Street Journal.
William H. Millard was known for his lavish spending, private jets and working 18-hour days whilst eating peanut-butter sandwiches.
William H. Millard left ComputerLand, having a fallout with franchisees and management, and soon moved with his family to Saipan.
Former ComputerLand CEO sold his remaining shares in 1987 and the family left Saipan, where William H. Millard had half-built a turreted castle on the coastline, in 1990.
The commonwealth got a tax judgment against William H. Millard and his wife for $36 million in court in 1994, according to Wall Street Journal.
Commonwealth authorities then picked up traces of his movements in Singapore, Ireland, Brussels, Hong Kong and the Caymans.
Then the commonwealth hired New York law firm Kobre & Kim and a private investigator tracked William F. Millard’s daughter’s home to Orlando, Florida, in December.
The private investigator soon spotted William H. Millard talking a walk outside and they tracked him to the Grand Cayman Island, lawyers said.
“I hope he will do the right thing and pay his debts,” Michael Kim told the Wall Street Journal. “But most people do not let go of $100 million easily.”