HMRC controller sacked over credit card theft

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has told a unit at HMRC to improve its financial management after a controller was sacked for stealing thousands of pounds.

The IPCC launched an investigation after allegations an HMRC team leader stole up to £10,530 using corporate credit cards were referred to it.

The commission questioned a number of credit card cash withdrawals over a 12 month period to July 2011. The majority were made using a credit card assigned to the manager, although cards used by other members of the team were also used, to which the team leader had access to.

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Comments

Records checked and found wanting    8 thanks

mikefleming3028 | | Permalink

Its more than a little disconcerting that the arbiter of all things tax has been tested and found wanting and it’s also an interesting comment on the investigatory skills that HMRC now has at its disposal in so much that we end up with a dismissal and not a prosecution.

The Police Complaints Commission comments :- "It made a number of recommendations to HMRC, including regularly changing codes to room and cupboard locks; and ensuring all financial accounting within the unit could demonstrate a clear and accountable audit process" basic stuff that I would have thought would have been in place from the start. Any way everyone is entitled to a mistake so long as they don’t make it a second time and they take steps to put things right (sound familiar) In this regard could I recommend that they should visit their own website as they have some very helpful toolkits that have been designed to help their customers "get it right".

I wonder how much this case cost to reach its earth shattering conclusion, symptomatic of HMRC at the moment who are paying out an average of £75 Million per month to Aspire for IT support and don’t have adequate systems in place to check the petty cash, very disappointing and very worrying from a customer’s point of view

carnmores's picture

not prepared to do their dirty money laundering    1 thanks

carnmores | | Permalink

In public

Is the actual NAME of the person concerned known?Could you PM me

dstickl | | Permalink

Is the actual NAME of the person concerned known?  Could you PM me, if you know it, please, if you don't wish to "go public"?

carnmores's picture

no no no no

carnmores | | Permalink

dstickl it is inappropriate to publish the name at least until any proceedings  are in progress which from the report appears unlikely.. we sinply do not have enough facts - we are all innocent until proven guilty and entitlesd to reasonable rights dont abuse someone elses

IF "no",THEN how do you discourage the rest of HMRC misbehaving?

dstickl | | Permalink

IF "no", THEN how do you discourage the rest of HMRC from misbehaving?

PLUS, as the actual sacking - if any - is apparently an alleged "fact", then why not publish that "fact"?    OR are you telling me that there's no actual sacking?

I wonder whether he/she was

nickf4u | | Permalink

I wonder whether he/she was confused ?and also whether there was a pay off and full pension rights retained?

Improve its financial management

vas | | Permalink

 

Interesting that the HMRC have reviewed processes and systems to combat this type of spend creativity and that HMRC assist SME's & major Corporate’s to avoid maverick spend but they don’t seem to have process in place themselves. An effective solution that takes just 1 week to set up from Invapay www.invapay.com will eliminate spend creativity & attempted maverick card spend.

Civil not criminal offence

P2 | | Permalink

The lead articles says that no criminal charges were brought and she was dismissed.  I wondered if she will be asked to pay the money back to HMRC.  If so, that itself is worrying; possibly she will turn up like a bad penny somewhere else using every fresh opportunity to steal someone else's money in order to pay back the old debt.

Time for an employment lawyer to step up

SimonP | | Permalink

I wouldn't be surprised if she now sues HMRC for wrongful dismissal since she has apparently done nothing wrong that can be proven. How much will that cost the taxpayer, I wonder?

HMRC credit card fraud.

jiatbanus | | Permalink

The tip of the iceberg. Do you give your staff Credit Cards or do they reclaim Out of Pocket expense? These are the same people who diligently carry out Business Record checks and who are super critical if they spot you buying a Choc bar through the company and claiming the VAT. And they arbitrarity surcharge you on the "unpaid" tax. We would pay to audit them.

P2's scenario apparently allegedly happened some years ago in ..

dstickl | | Permalink

P2 wrote:

...    I wondered if she will be asked to pay the money back to HMRC.  If so, that itself is worrying; possibly she will turn up like a bad penny somewhere else using every fresh opportunity to steal someone else's money in order to pay back the old debt.

P2's scenario apparently allegedly actually happened some years ago, somewhere in England:   It was alleged that a bookkeeper allegedly stole some money from alleged firm A, who when they found out allegedly hinted that she would be given a good reference if she (a) left firm A, (b) joined alleged firm B, and then (c) allegedly stole sufficient money from alleged firm B, in order to pay back alleged firm A.  

The hilarity was that alleged firm B turned out to be allegedly a firm of accountants, who were allegedly duly milked.  

Hence my earlier suggestive Q that IMHO the person concerned should be named ... as a public service, to "discourage the rest of HMRC from misbehaving". Or is modern "corporate social responsibility" just a matter of Press Releases, as "do as I say"  ?

HMRC theft

jiatbanus | | Permalink

"Innocent until proven guilty"! I would suggest that you haven't participated in a Business Record Check which is carried out in completely the reverse manner - which is the underlying HMRC belief, and part of the culture.

carnmores's picture

ive been around far too long for everything

carnmores | | Permalink

but publication without the facts is  dangerous so publish and be damned as they say - its not an individuals job to go round publicising 3rd party details of other peopes affairs - what sort of society will we end up in a nation where grassing on everybody for everything occurs (FDR), it  willnot lead to a more orderly society, quite the opposite. the presumption of innosence must be maintained just because the person works for HMRC does not mean that they should not be entitled to what the rest of us are.

@carnmores: We will end up with LOWER taxation by HMRC by ...

dstickl | | Permalink

carnmores wrote:

...    what sort of society will we end up in    ...

Hi carnmores!   In my humble opinion (IMHO) the direct answer to your above question is:  We will end up with LOWER taxation by HMRC by ... some newspaper publishing the NAME and PHOTOGRAPH of the person who was allegedly sacked in the alleged "factual" situation as apparently described by OP, and I am shocked, SHOCKED, that the alleged free press that IMHO seemingly allegedly takes issue with "Leveson" does not yet appear to me to have done same.

HMRC Theft

martthedj.yahoo.com | | Permalink

My guess is that the CPS decided not to bring charges because it would almost certainly have meant revealing the identities of the intelligence sources.

I dont think its something that they would want to be looking at.....after all,this is an area that Police themselves are reliant on.

she will probably turn up

justsotax | | Permalink

at another government/public body as a team leader.....or possibly further up the ladder.....nothing shocks me anymore when it comes to taxpayers money and throwing it down the drain.....

Petty cash

Ian Bee | | Permalink

What on earth is any substantial business doing with a petty cash float these days?

finegana's picture

Every person, in any business    2 thanks

finegana | | Permalink

Every person, in any business left in such a position of trust can abuse it - the sad thing for HMRC's Financial Controller (& public image;like that needed shooting down!) is that their own financial controls didn't identify a problem before the Police were involved.  As has been said, that's their warning shot and it will inevitably be addressed in the immediate term and hopefully monitored on an ongoing basis.  Times are tough, and middle-management civil servants will be feeling the pinch on their wallets/purses too; the survival instinct in human nature leads some people to carry out immoral/illegal acts - no idea if that was the person in this case, they may just be a simple criminal who took their opportunity.

If a Business Record Check found a similar instance at one of my clients, then we would be looking at interest, penalties, fines, surcharges depending on the materiality & type of tax involved.  I would expect HMRC to recover the monies, not just sack the individual and hope the problems goes away never to reappear again - will we ever know if this occurred here?

My Point - Somebody at the top of this organisation needs a verbal kicking to get their house in order, they will be earning sufficient to allow them to not even consider acting in such a way and have enough internally focused resources to prevent this scenario from ever happening.  Fair enough sack the perpetrator, but lets address the bigger problem of lax management and control of the public funds under their remit.

More lessons learned ...

mikewhit | | Permalink

We will no doubt again hear about the "lessons learned" (learnt?) but I would say that unless the incoming staff have the correct "cultural mindset" when they arrive ... due diligence ... best practice ... "wholly and necessarily" etc. there will be people trying to see what they can get away with. Someone else thinking "if X can get away with that why shouldn't I ..."

@mikewhit: ... but will they include Risk Management Scenarios?

dstickl | | Permalink

mikewhit wrote:

We will no doubt again hear about the "lessons learned" (learnt?) but I would say that unless the incoming staff have the correct "cultural mindset" when they arrive ... due diligence ... best practice ... "wholly and necessarily" etc. there will be people trying to see what they can get away with. Someone else thinking "if X can get away with that why shouldn't I ..."

Quite so, MW: More lessons learnt  ... but will they include Risk Management Scenarios (RMS) planning, and implementation, and monitoring, and reporting, at and from the top of HMRC ?

[DS edit: A = Fat chance!  => Q: Does anybody out there agree? ]