A solicitor behind an eco-investment tax scam has been ordered to repay over £3m or face another decade behind bars.

Rodney Whiston-Dew, 68, was jailed in 2017 for his part in a green investment scam, which was used to steal £20m of investors’ money. Whiston-Dew was one of five Oxbridge-educated men who lured wealthy individuals to invest in fake environmental projects.

Just a quarter of the £65m the group secured was actually spent on planting trees. Instead, large sums were laundered via bank accounts and secret trusts, and spent on luxury properties in London, Australia and Dubai.

In 2017, Whiston-Dew was convicted of a conspiracy to cheat the public revenue, and also cheating the revenue in relation to his personal tax liability. He was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. On Friday, a judge at the Old Bailey ordered him to pay £3,035,192.97 within three months or face an additional nine years in prison.

Collectively, the five men – one of who is a former conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra – have been ordered to pay £20,611,738.

Manjula Nayee of the Crown Prosecution Service said: ‘These men used their elite background to persuade people to part with their money, resulting in a huge loss to the victims and the public purse.

‘Seizing these assets shows that we will do everything we can to ensure that criminals do not profit by exploiting others.’