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Ex-England ace Emile Heskey facing bankruptcy in latest battle with taxman

FORMER England star Emile Heskey was facing bankruptcy last night in his latest battle with the taxman.

The ex-Liverpool striker — whose net worth was estimated at £12million in 2009 — has had financial woes since joining a celebrity investment scheme now at the centre of a £1.6billion tax dispute.

Emile Heskey is facing bankruptcy in his latest battle with the taxman

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Emile Heskey is facing bankruptcy in his latest battle with the taxmanCredit: Getty
The former England star has had financial woes since joining a celebrity investment scheme

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The former England star has had financial woes since joining a celebrity investment schemeCredit: Times Newspapers Ltd

He has been hit with a High Court bankruptcy petition filed by HMRC — setting off alarms for a string of VIPs.

Dad-of-six Heskey, 45, was last year found to have defaulted on £92,000 of tax while working as a football development officer between 2017 and 2020.

He was handed a £42,000 penalty.

Meanwhile, the trendy bar he ran with wife Chantelle in posh Alderley Edge, Cheshire, was wound up by the courts with £163,000 of debts.

It was unclear whether the court case arrears were related to the investment scheme or his business flop.

Heskey has recently been involved in the running of Leicester City’s women’s team and supporting the England under-18s squad.

The tax scheme was among those run by Ingenious Media, a financing company which funded more than 60 movies.

David Beckham, Ant and Dec and Robbie Williams are among the famous names who pumped in cash, with a minimum £50,000 stake required.

Clients were said to have been able to claim tax relief against most of their payment.

Other stars linked to the scheme included Liverpool greats Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher and ex-Newsnight host Jeremy Paxman.

Gerrard and composer Andrew Lloyd Webber were among investors reported in 2019 to be suing HSBC for “dishonestly assisting” Ingenious Media.

Take That singers Gary Barlow, Howard Donald and Mark Owen have already repaid £20million.

They insisted they had paid significant tax and believed the investments were legitimate enterprises.

But Barlow later admitting it was “the stupidest thing I have ever done”.

HMRC and Heskey were approached for comment.

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