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Four KPMG partners arrested in tax evasion investigation

FOUR senior partners at KPMG’s Belfast offices have been arrested as part of an HM Revenue & Customs investigation into alleged tax evasion.

Officials from the tax authority visited the Big Four firm’s city centre office on Wednesday and detained the men.

They are Jon D’Arcy, Eamonn Donaghy, Arthur O’Brien and Paul Hollway, some of the firm’s most senior staff in Northern Ireland.

D’Arcy is chairman of KPMG’s Belfast office where he leads the audit and transaction services teams, while Donaghy is head of the firm’s tax practice in Northern Ireland.

O’Brien is an audit and advisory partner and Hollway is head of corporate finance at KPMG in Ireland.

In addition to their posts at KPMG, all four men are directors in a property investment company called JEAP Ltd, which sustained significant losses when the property market crashed in 2008.

It is unknown whether that forms part of the HMRC investigation, but the taxman said in a statement: “HMRC officers arrested four individuals from Northern Ireland yesterday in connection to suspected tax evasion. We can’t comment further.”

A KPMG statement read: “We can confirm that representatives of HM Revenue and Customs have advised us that they are conducting an investigation and visited our Belfast office yesterday. We are co-operating with that investigation. It is important to emphasise that we do not have any indication that this investigation relates to the business of KPMG or the business of our clients.

“Pending further information and enquiry, we can confirm that four partners in our Belfast office are on administrative leave. As the matter is on-going, KPMG is not in a position to make any further comment at this stage.”

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