Fraud – Revenue helps nail fraudsters

The Inland Revenue stressed its control over tax prosecutions last week, as four men were jailed for fraud worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The Revenue’s claim came weeks after the ‘convention fiasco’ when Accountancy Age revealed the department had signed an agreement that obliged officers to share case information with other investigation agencies. Its ability to control tax prosecutions was in doubt after it failed earlier this year to persuade the Crown Prosecution Service to end court proceedings against a taxpayer charged with fraud.

Three of the fraudsters jailed last week, Kalwant Singh Bhandal and Awtar Singh Bhandal of Willenhall, West Midlands, and Steven George Cutting of Harpole, Northamptonshire, were sentenced to five, three and one year respectively at Birmingham Crown Court for an ‘off-book’ purchasing scheme.

The Bhandals falsely described imported yarn as sub-standard, accounting for half the amount actually paid. The balance was paid to Cutting, who deposited it in a special bank account in the supplier’s name.

A tip-off unearthed #179,522 in lost tax, interest and NICs.

In another case, company director John Gorst, of Tedworth Square, North London, was sentenced to two years for failing to declare the sale of shares over a 12-year period creating a #220,000 tax loss.

Related reading