Legal exec jailed over VAT fraud

Laurence Peter Ford, of 25 Albany Close, Fleet, Hampshire, has been jailed
for six years for his role in laundering more than ?200m from the proceeds of a
complex VAT fraud, following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs.

Ford, 54, a senior legal executive employed by a Hampshire law firm,
Beveridge Gauntlett Solicitors, was found guilty by a jury on money laundering
charges at Southwark Crown Court.

Passing sentence, the judge told Ford, the scheme was ‘deliberately and
carefully planned and executed to assist men’ involved in the carousel fraud.

‘You set up the means to enable the money to be laundered,’ the judge said.

Roy Clark, HMRC director of criminal investigations said, ‘This verdict is
clear evidence that HM Revenue & Customs will rigorously pursue not only
those directly involved in attacking the VAT system, but also those who help to
launder the proceeds of such fraud.

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