HMRC helps recover stolen paintings

A criminal and confiscation investigation by HM Revenue & Customs has
seen eight valuable paintings, stolen by a convicted criminal, returned to the
nation, while £346,425 has also been recovered.

The paintings were recovered from Shaun Benedict Gray, (born 25 December
1966), from Dorset. 

Gray had already pled guilty last year to charges of false accounting and
forgery and is currently serving a three year jail sentence for his crime.

The false accounting charges arose from an inheritance tax return submitted
by Gray in respect of the estate of the late Helen Guiterman who was an
authority on the 19th century Scottish artist David Roberts.

THE HMRC investigation established assets to the value of approximately
£500,000 had not been included on the return and also uncovered that Gray –
grandson of Helen Guiterman’s cousin – had forged Guiterman’s will making
himself the major beneficiary.

Under her will Helen Guiterman had left her important collection of David
Roberts paintings to the National Art Collections Fund and most of the residue
of her estate to charity.

Mark Taylor, HMRC accredited financial investigator, said: ‘This confiscation
order denies Gray of the proceeds of his crime. The compensation order means the
real victims of his criminality, the rightful beneficiaries, will now hopefully
receive from the estate of the late Helen Guiterman in accordance with her true

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