Scot Young was the 'go-to fixer' for Vladimir Putin's arch-enemy Boris Berezovsky and laundered the Russian oligarch's cash before they both died in mysterious circumstances within a year of each other, it was claimed today.
Mr. Young, who was once worth up to £800million before going bankrupt, died after plunging onto railings below his £3million London penthouse in December 2014 after repeatedly warning police and friends that hitmen with links to Moscow wanted him dead.
A year after his fatal fall a coroner ruled that Scot's death aged 52 could not be called suicide due to 'insufficient evidence' - but the Met concluded it was non-suspicious.
Investigative journalist Heidi Blake has written a new book 'From Russia with Blood' and claims Scot was in 'huge danger' for laundering cash for Berezovsky and his rich Russian friends who fled to Britain.
She also believes Scot made millions after he stumbled upon a tax loophole that allowed him to move money into Britain without punishment if he admitted to HMRC it was all raised from crimes carried out abroad.
Ms Blake told BBC Scotland: 'Scot fell in with a major organised crime group and began laundering money for them.
'He became the go-to fixer for Berezovsky and his associates as they sought ways to stash their ill-gotten cash in an extraordinary array of luxury British properties, vehicles, private jets and helicopters.
Boris Berezovsky was found hanged in 2013. Some have claimed he was murdered but police disagree
'He really helped Berezovsky splash his cash in the UK and pursued a whole range of highly risky property deals for Berezovsky in Russia itself.
'So he exposed himself to huge danger as part of that role and ultimately he plunged from a window from his fourth-floor apartment in Marylebone, in London and was impaled on the spikes of a wrought iron fence underneath.
'This after warning police and his friends and family for years that he was being targeted by Russian hitmen.'
Ms Blake also claims that Young's money laundering career came after he robbed banks in Europe and found a way to bring it back to Britain without facing arrest.
She said: ‘Scot Young met a lawyer on a Concorde flight from New York to London in the 1990s and told him: "I've got a tax problem. I've been robbing banks all over Europe and whenever I try to spend the money I have made, in the UK, the taxman wants to know where it came from".
Heidi, who is global investigations editor of Buzzfeed, went on: 'He was introduced to a barrister who advised him that money stolen in bank heists wasn't in the schedules of taxable income and the taxman couldn't tax you on the proceeds of crime.
‘So if he went to HMRC and told them that he had stolen all this money, he wouldn't be taxed. The way the law worked at the time is that anything declarations you made voluntarily you did so with immunity so that tax authorities weren't able to notify the police that this money was stolen.
'So this is what Scot Young did, he moved all the money into a UK account, declared this was how he made it and the taxman let him get on with spending it'.
Scot was part of a group of five friends — all of whom attained huge riches on deals they brokered — who all met sudden, violent deaths within four years of each other.
They were property magnates Paul Castle and Robbie Curtis; ex-rock manager Johnny Elichaoff and Berezovsky, found dead at his Berkshire home in 2013 with a ligature round his neck.
Mr Young had told friends he was worried someone was going to try to kill him because here was ‘a price on his head’.
He served eight months in prison in 2013 after a judge jailed him for contempt of court for failing to reveal the whereabouts of the £400million fortune that was at the centre of his seven-year divorce battle with his wife.
Dundee-born Scot made his riches in property and gambling on telecoms - but also reportedly made large sums working as a fixer for the super-rich.
He himself lived a lavish lifestyle, riding around in luxury sports cars and wearing designer clothes.
He married Michelle Young in 1995 and had two children, Scarlet and Sasha, living in a 12-bedroom, 200-acre plot in Surrey.
Mrs Young had previously claimed that he was 'worth a few billion at least' and said her husband had hidden assets of more than £400million in offshore accounts.
Things started to go sour in 2006 and a protracted divorce battle ensued - with Scot agreeing to marry an American-born model.
But this never happened as, in 2014, he was found impaled on railings in Montagu Square, London.
The cause of his death has never been ascertained and an inquest in 2015 refused to label it as suicide.
In 2017 it was revealed that Scotland Yard had received a transcript of a phone call between Mr and Mrs Young that took place five weeks before his death.
In the call she said she had uncovered links between him and exiled Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky. But he warned her to stop investigating his contacts and his life was in danger.
Scot Young helped hide his £500million fortune from his wife 'in a game of hide and concealment' after instructing a Panama-based law firm, leaked documents suggested in 2016.
The British tycoon used Mossack Fonseca and other offshore businesses to stash his assets in Russia, the British Virgin Islands and Monaco.