UK

Michael Brown awaits his fate in the Dominican Republic

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Media captionConvicted conman Michael Brown is being held in a cell in the Dominican Republic while the country works out the next step in his complex case

Michael Brown was not taking visitors at the police station jail where he's been held since his arrest last week.

The 45-year-old convicted conman is known in the Dominican Republic as Darren Patrick Nally, the name believed to be on a fraudulent passport with which he is said to have entered the country.

He absconded from the UK three years ago after being charged over a multi-million pound scam posing as a high-powered financial broker.

He was sentenced in his absence to seven years in jail in 2008 for stealing £36m from clients including nearly £8m from Manchester United's ex-chairman Martin Edwards.

He posed as a bond dealer and claimed royal connections to steal the money, Southwark Crown Court heard.

He used £2.4m of the money to fund the Liberal Democrats in 2005 - the party's biggest ever donation.

The party was cleared of any wrongdoing, but there are still calls from some of those Brown conned out of cash for the Lib Dems to pay them back.

Missing rent

The persona which helped him get away with conning rich people out of millions of pounds was a well bred, well to do and well connected businessman - an act it seems he may have carried over into the Caribbean.

The reason for his arrest in Punta Cana, according to the local prosecutor in Higuey, was not paying rent on a multi-million pound apartment.

Mercedes Santana Rodriguez explained how in October 2010 police received a complaint from a condominium administrator about some missing money.

She explained how a man calling himself Darren Nally had moved in and agreed to pay Ralf Frissner Lopez a monthly rental of £14,000 - plus a hefty deposit.

But after procrastinating over the payments he disappeared.

A warrant was issued last February.

Case to answer

Image caption Michael Brown is said to have entered the Dominican Republic on a false passport

The gated complex where Michael Brown was arrested on Wednesday is certainly not in that top-end bracket, but it is plush and comfortable and well-fitting for the millionaire lifestyle he played out.

And it is very different to the small cell he currently inhabits while the court paperwork is processed and he is moved to Ana Muya high security jail on the other side of town.

Mr Rodriguez said there are a "lot of other people" who say they have been conned and there are other warrants.

At a court hearing, Nally, aka Brown, was remanded in custody for 12 months to allow the allegations to be investigated and the prosecutor to decide if there is a case to answer.

The judge seemed concerned enough that he might flee the country to insist he remain behind bars.

A charge of money laundering is also being considered.

Complex charges

Brown's conviction in the UK brought Interpol into the equation.

The way he got into the Dominican Republic may also prove to be the way Britain gets him back.

There is no formal extradition treaty between the UK and Dominican Republic, but a senior police officer has hinted that someone entering on false documents could be deported to their home nation.

There are no doubt a lot of discussions going on behind the scenes, but little is being said on the issue of what happens next, partly because it was a holiday weekend, and partly because of the complexity of charges.

Will the priority be to put him on trial in the Dominican Republic, or will it be to send him back to Britain to face jail time there?

It may be Tuesday before the authorities shed any more light on when, or how, Michael Brown, or Darren Patrick Nally, will return home to face justice.

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