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Brockman ordered to stand trial on tax evasion charges

Exaggerating: Billionaire Robert Brockman will stand trial (Photograph supplied)

A billionaire charged with tax evasion and money laundering through a web of offshore entities in Bermuda and Nevis will have to stand trial, a US judge has ruled.

Lawyers for Robert Brockman, 80, had argued that the tech tycoon was unfit to face the charges because he suffered from dementia.

But US District Judge George C Hanks Jr dismissed those claims, declaring that the defendant had exaggerated his symptoms.

Mr Brockman faces 39 counts, including evading taxes on $2 billion of income, wire fraud and money laundering.

The case is the largest-ever tax evasion prosecution against an individual in the US.

The charges came after a Bermuda-based lawyer who worked for Mr Brockman testified against his former employer before a grand jury.

Bloomberg reported that Evatt Tamine recounted how he and Mr Brockman took many steps to conceal his boss’s control of a multibillion dollar family trust in Bermuda, including the use of code names, the encryption of communications and destruction of evidence.

But in another hearing last November, Mr Tamine insisted that Mr Brockman had done nothing illegal.

In his ruling handed down on Monday, Judge Hanks concluded that Mr Brockman was “exaggerating his symptoms of severe dementia and his cognitive abilities are not as poor as reflected by his cognitive test results.

“In other words, Brockman is malingering to avoid prosecution.”

The judge agreed with prosecutors who claimed that while Brockman has some cognitive impairment, he began exaggerating his mental decline in 2018, when he came to the attention of US investigators examining his links to the multibillion dollar family trust in Bermuda.

“The court finds that despite Brockman’s recent health problems, the government has met its burden of establishing that Brockman is competent to stand trial,” Judge Hanks ruled.