UK fraud soars in first half of year

From January to 30 June fraud cases heard by the courts rose by 150% compared to the same period last year, totalling £255m, a survey by KPMG found.

KPMG fraud investigations partner David Alexander said prosecutions were likely to rise over the next two years, as more scams became apparent following the economic downturn

One of biggest increase was in the public sector where fraud more than trebled – 330% – following a number of scams involving attempts to avoid paying £74.5m in VAT on imported cigarettes and mobile phones.

Alexander said: ‘Increasing public spending makes it vitally important for prosecutions to be brought against those who try to defraud HM Customs & Excise and the Inland Revenue.’

The banking sector saw fraud rise significantly climbing from £11.3m to £51.8m for the six-month period, while the finance industry was hit by a number of high-profile cases including one attempt to swindle £100m from St Paul’s cathedral.

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