AN ACCOUNTANT who attempted to hijack £40,277 in tax fraud from NHS identities has been jailed.
Sharjeel Iqbal used his position as an NHS finance worker to hijack a total of 59 identities among carefully selected midwives, nurses, cardiologists and other NHS staff who were genuinely due tax refunds.
Iqbal, 29, from Bolton, stole personal data, forged signatures on tax repayment documents submitted the claims without their knowledge and diverted the money into his own bank accounts.
Sandra Smith, assistant director for the Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “This was a well-organised, professional attempt to manipulate the UK tax system for personal gain. He was in a position of trust and aware that he was breaking the law. HMRC intercepted and now he has a criminal record and his professional reputation is ruined.”
Iqbal attempted to claim the amount between 2012 and 2013. However, HMRC withheld £14,308 when they detected suspicious activity linked to his own accountancy business and some of the hijacked identities.
Iqbal was arrested by HMRC on 12 November 2014 who searched his home, seizing laptops, business records and mobile phones for the investigation. Also, a significant amount of cash was discovered which has been detained and will form part of the proceedings to confiscate his criminal profits.
On 4 November 2016, Iqbal was jailed for 21 months after pleading guilty to dishonesty and intention of gain for himself or another, and providing false information at a previous court hearing.
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