Barrister jailed after Revenue prosecution

Barrister jailed after Revenue prosecution

A tax barrister has been found guilty of cheating the public purse out of nearly Pounds 3.2m and has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison.

Michael Richard Stannard, 51, from Normandy in France and Cheltenham, was sentenced last week at Southwark Crown Court after being found guilty of claiming a deduction against profits for interest paid in advance in respect of Bonnington Shipping and Fairflight when no such transactions had taken place.

Stannard was also found to have furnished false information for the accounts namely debenture bonds of the companies knowing they might be misleading or false.

In sentencing Stannard, his Judge Fingret said: ‘The profit was considerable and the punishment must reflect such gains…other aggravating features are the abuse of public trust by a professional man. ‘It is clear to me that the appropriate range of sentences for large-scale efforts to cheat the Revenue is between four and eight years.’

Stannard’s conviction represents a great success for the Special Compliance Office, which formed part of the largest operation ever carried out by the Inland Revenue.

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