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Former Ford boss who oversaw closure of Dagenham plant sentenced to prison for hiding fortune
A FORMER Ford boss accused of hiding a multi-million-pound fortune from his ex-wife has been sentenced to two years in jail.
David Thursfield is a wanted man after a High Court judge sentenced him in his absence for failing to disclose his wealth in a bitter divorce battle with his ex-wife of 27 years.
His reputation for cost-cutting helped him earn a salary of up to £1.2 million a year and live luxurious lifestyle.
The 67-year-old had agreed to pay £1.1 million to his 61-year-old ex-wife Linda after a divorce was finalised in 2005 in the United States, as well as the keys to their mansion in a Detroit suburb where he was based at Ford’s headquarters.
The pair had met when he was a plant manager with British Leyland in the Midlands in the 70s and he then went on to work across the world at various sites including Australia, Spain, Germany and the US.
He also oversaw the closure of Ford’s Dagenham factory in 2002.
After the settlement Linda Thursfield reportedly hired private detectives and a forensic accountant to track her husband’s alleged wealth.
In 2011 she took her case to the High Court where she obtained a freezing order against him to stop him disposing of her his property of money.
The court considered that Thursfield breached the judge’s order to disclose details of his alleged wealth.
A spokesman for Thursfield said an appeal would be made.