ACCOUNTANTS AND AUDITORS were among those who helped a conman steal tens of millions of pounds from the taxman.
Thomas Scragg, of Hockley Heath near Solihull, who defrauded the public purse of £34m between 2002 and 2008, was handed one of the longest prison sentences in British legal history with a 17-year term.
With the help of co-conspirators including accountants and auditors, he channelled stolen employee PAYE contributions through his business, Mona Payroll, which managed the staff wages of various construction industry companies, reports Metro.
The scam allowed Scragg and his two henchmen, brothers Carl and Anthony Johnson, to live in opulence, with the money spent on bullet-proof windows, lavish meals, hotel stays and luxury cars including a Lamborghini Murcielago, Ferrari Spider and Porche Cayenne.
Neighbours of the Johnsons – who were paid £2.4m by Scragg for their protection services – reportedly became suspicious of their lifestyles and informed the police.
They were convicted of money laundering at Birmingham crown court and will be sentenced at a later date.
Scragg was jailed for 13 years in November 2010, with his sentence extended by a further four years in March last year.
Ten other men were convicted on a range of charges including conspiracy to defraud HM Revenue & Customs, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and money-laundering.
HMRC has outlined a change in VAT policy to the treatment of dwellings that have been formed from either the construction of new buildings, or from the conversion of non-residential buildings
Let us hope that valuable asset protection vehicles are not made prohibitively burdensome or abolished in the desire to “simplify” IHT
The government is pressing ahead with changes to the way it taxes individuals with a foreign domicile
I will feel slightly awkward when I write to the client who is about to receive a large invoice from the PAYE expert, offering him the fee protection going forward