FORMER VANTIS tax advisor Roy Faichney has been jailed for four years over his role in a charity tax fraud.
Faichney, who was managing director of Vantis Tax, worked with his deputy David Perrin to share £4.5m in profit from a fraudulent tax scheme that 'gifted' charities worthless shares while the tax advisors claimed tens of millions of pounds in tax relief on clients' behalf.
The relief, of £70m, was claimed against £213m of income and company profits based on the shares being priced at £1 each – but they were only worth the pennies they had originally been bought for.
Perrin had been jailed for 18 months for his role in the fraud earlier this year.
The scheme became infamous for the celebratory song sung at Vantis' annual conference to the tune of 'I Will Survive'.
Judge Blacksell QC, at Blackfriars Crown Court, said: "If you ever had a moral compass, you lost it or buried it under the property purchases, furnishings, holidays and cruises.
"The general public are sick and tired of men such as you and schemes such as this. This is high-net-worth fiddling. The general public should applaud the dedication and commitment shown by HMRC in pursuing all aspects of this case. They have been well served."
A confiscation order against Faichney has been put in place, and he has been disqualified from taking a directorship for ten years.
It can now be reported that Perrin's case was referred to the solicitor-general for review, and found to be unduly lenient. His term was increased to seven years, but due to his health the 18-month sentence was not altered.
As an ex-Vantis employee there at the death, I too applaud the work of HMRC. Although this is about an individual who happened to run the tax department and sit on the board, the Vantis era (and those who ran it) can best be summed up with one-word: GREED
Posted by: Richard, 24 Oct 2012 | 15:14
I agree with the above. Vantis was like a virus, taking over firms just so that a few little Hitlers could have their little empire. A pathetic attempt to resemble the Big 4.
I for one am very pleased to see people like this in prison. Although I can't agree with a 4-year sentence. If Perrin's sentence was extended to 7 years, shouldn't Faichney get that too?
Posted by: Benjamin, 25 Oct 2012 | 15:36
There is a fundamental attribute for which the profession is rightly proud and that is trust. We as partners trusted these guys and in turn our clients trusted us. They have caused damage to the reputation of the firm they represented and cast a shadow over a fine profession. Fortunately our clients have continued to trust the partners in successor firms and we are massively grateful to them them. As for Faichney and Perrin we have no sympathy at all and they are now in their rightful place and in appropriate company. - Jo
Posted by: Jonathan Hoffman, 25 Oct 2012 | 18:02
Well said Richard. The culture of greed ensured that Faichney and Perrin walked on water. There appeared to be no checks and balances on them and they did as they pleased
Posted by: Anon, 26 Oct 2012 | 06:53
HMRC did not, to my knowledge, levy tax penalties on the relevant clients.
If so, why not, and why did they try to levy penalties in Hanson v HMRC (where the accountant was presumably not a crook)?
Posted by: David Haslem, 26 Oct 2012 | 17:43
Sorry Jo, but Perrin was released a couple of months back so I can't agree with him being in the right place!
Posted by: sarah, 28 Oct 2012 | 11:41
The clients were largely blocked from claiming the reliefs. The I will survive song was not sung by Perrin or Faichney but another member of the coterie in drag. The reaction of the non Vantis Tax attendees was mystification and distaste and they were the innocents in this bonfire of the vanities
Posted by: Anon, 29 Oct 2012 | 06:40
The prisons are full and these aren't high risk criminals, 'only' reducing tax take and charity income, so he'll be out in a few weeks. Not much of a punishment.
Posted by: Practitioner, 12 Nov 2012 | 12:13
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