Top wrestler pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

HM Revenue & Customs has pinned down UK cage fighting champion Ian \'The Machine\' Freeman over tax evasion and mortgage fraud.

Freeman has pleaded guilty to charges of tax evasion, tax credit fraud and obtaining a mortgage by deception.

He appeared with his wife Angela at Durham Crown Court to hear the charges.
Offences relating to tax evasion totaled £21,000, defrauding the tax credit system £13,000.

The last time he paid tax was in 1997 when he left his job as a security guard to become a professional cage fighter. He also appeared in a number of prime time TV programmes and films.

During this time he failed to register any of his income with HM Revenue & Customs and deliberately avoided paying tax on an income thought to be at least £30,000 per annum between the years 2004-2006.

The Freemans were caught by investigators from HMRC who discovered that not only had they splashed out on a new £18,000 car and a £27,000 boat but had bought a property worth at least £250,000 and fraudulently obtained their mortgage based on Freeman’s supposed business success and substantial earnings.

The pair appeared before Durham Crown Court in 2008 where they initially pleaded not guilty but today with a jury waiting to begin their trial, they changed their minds and each put in a guilty plea.

The pair will be sentenced on March 3 at Durham Crown Court.