HMRC insider jailed for key role in tax fraud

AN HMRC INSIDER has been jailed along with 14 others after he diverted £1.2m of tax payments into the accounts of his co-defendants.

Michael Kitchen, a former HMRC administrative officer, made 158 separate transactions as he channelled the taxes away from the public coffers.

He was employed to allocate the PAYE accounts of businesses, but was dismissed in 2009 after an internal investigation.

The group was sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court, with Kitchen ordered to pay back £175,000 and jailed for 18 and a half years, while he will face a further two, should he fail to pay.

Ian Horridge of internal governance at HMRC said: “Kitchen abused his position of trust in a sophisticated and sustained fraud aimed at paying the tax liabilities of his friends and associates. HMRC is committed to the highest level of integrity and we take the strongest possible action against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling short of those standards.

“We also use confiscations to ensure that people don’t benefit financially from their criminal activity. The confiscation orders required all the defendants to pay back their ill-gotten gains, or face jail and still owe the money.”

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