Accountant to repay £195,000 for tax fraud

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An accountant serving an 18-month prison sentence for tax fraud has been ordered to repay £195,500 or face a further two-and-a-half years in jail.

Ronald Moncrieff, from Nottingham, claimed fake expenses in his own tax returns. He also falsified returns on his wife and son’s behalves over a seven-year period.

An HMRC investigation found that...

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01st Aug 2013 14:08

Total

So he has already repaid £65,000 and is now ordered to pay £195,000 - total £260,000.  The tax evaded was £153,000.

And of course he got an 18 month sentence.

HMRC will be understandably pleased!

David

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02nd Aug 2013 07:52

Lesson to be learnt from this......don't become a reformed citizen and repay proceeds of crime to victims (even if it is HMRC!) before the confiscation order is in place!
Obviously the other lesson is don't falsify over £0.5million of expenses or understate fee income either!

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02nd Aug 2013 09:12

The law of confiscation (just like tax law) works in some surprising ways.  That means that a well-advised defendant can gain from some anomalies or 'tricks'.

If a defendant is able to repay the whole of the amount obtained from the victim before the confiscation order is made then he can argue that no confiscation order is appropriate.

If he does not, or cannot, then (in a case such as this) the 'benefit' for confiscation purposes will be calculated using the 'criminal lifestyle' assumptions - and so may be considerably greater than the amount obtained from the victim.

I know nothing of the detail in Mr Moncrieff's case but my guess would be that (a) he was not able to repay HMRC in full before the confiscation proceedings, (b) the £65,000 repayment already made was taken into account by the judge when he made the confiscation order, and (c) as a result of the 'criminal lifestyle' assumptions Mr Moncrieff's 'benefit' for confiscation purposes was greater than the £153,000 tax plus interest which HMRC had 'lost'.

Even so it is likely that Mr Moncrieff would, by repaying £65,000 before he was sentenced, have been handed a prison term significantly less than the one he would have received had he made no repayment - and since he would be obliged to pay up sooner or later he did get good 'value' out of 'voluntarily' handing over the £65,000 at an early stage!

David

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