AN ACCOUNTANT who was found guilty of cheating HMRC of £6m while working for a host of celebrity clients should only pay back £65,000, his lawyer has said.
Dennis Christopher Carter Lunn, known as Christopher, was the head of accountancy firm Christopher Lunn & Co, a company which represented a number of celebrity clients including newsreader Fiona Bruce, actress Sadie Frost and Gotham star Sean Pertwee.
In 2010, Lunn & Co was investigated by HMRC and Christopher was subsequently arrested after the tax authority uncovered evidence of inflating accountancy fees and the fraudulent use of trading losses in order to help his clients evade tax. The Daily Mail reports that none of Christopher’s celebrity clients knew of the crimes taking place.
Lunn stood trial at Southwark Crown Court in September 2013, charged with six counts of cheating the public revenue. In January 2014, he was acquitted on two charges while the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the remaining four.
However, after five years of detailed investigation, HMRC finally saw Lunn convicted at the retrial, where a jury found him guilty of four counts of cheating the public revenue.
Geoff Cox QC made the case for Lunn to only payback £65,000, arguing that the prosecution picked out 15 examples of fraudulent accounting that involved celebrities to ‘prove a course of conduct’.
Cox added that Lunn had been “a decent, law abiding man’ of ‘good character” whose health and finances have deteriorated significantly as a result of the case against him.
Lunn will be sentenced on 11 January.
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