Sunderland accountant facing jail term: update

Accountant Kishor Doshi, who was imprisoned last year for “prejudicing an investigation” contrary to s342 PoCA 2002, has had his sentence reduced to 12 months by the Court of Appeal.

Judge Stephens QC said the court did not consider that a sentence as long as 18 months was necessary in the circumstances of this case [Doshi, R v [2011] EWCA Crim 1975], and that in its judgment, a sentence of 12 months' imprisonment would meet the requirements of justice and due punishment for this offence.

Doshi was a director at Sunderland accountancy firm Otax and was found guilty in February 2011 of tipping off a client about a police investigation.

Continued...

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Comments

Unsuitable comment removed by moderators

Trev | | Permalink

Editor John Stokdyk comments: One of our members posted a follow-up comment on this article drawing on their personal experiences with Mr Doshi and including some not too well veiled hints of retribution.

As a result we have been forced to remove the comment and advise the specific member and others that this is not a suitable forum for posting allegations of dishonesty or professional/criminal misconduct. Aside from the strict nature of the UK's libel laws, if commons relate to legal proceedings, there is also a risk of contempt of court.

We can understand why stories like this might inflame passions, but please remember this is a site for professional accountants and abide by our community rules.

Zero marks….

Trevor Scott | | Permalink

….for the detectives who wrote to the accountant of a suspect …. hoping that he wouldn’t tip off the suspect and damage their investigation. Surely the detectives initial approach should have been to drop in on the accountant to ensure he knew the score and wouldn’t prejudice their investigation.

I’m amazed the Police took the chance for just a set of accounts and records, figures that could’ve been obtained more easily through HMRC and even a tax investigation. Why didn’t the detectives just ring up HMRC and ask for their opinion of the accountant to learn whether he could be trusted in such a situation.

 

Rule through fear not acquiensence

trecar | | Permalink

Looking at the powers that the state is taking unto itself such as those in the new Finance Bill, Money Laundering regulations, PoCA etc. does make one wonder whether we are moving away from a free society into an Orwellian nightmare. The accountant mentioned above will serve a sentence way beyond a few months in clink. His means of earning his living have been denied him (possibly for the good of society) and for an individual in what must be middle age he now has to find a new way of earning a living. That is potentially going to be a far greater sentence.

But what concerns is the complexity and multiplicity of laws hitting the statute book which are laying more traps for the unwary and careless. The proportion of our population that has a criminal conviction exceeds 25%  and that should be deep cause for worry. In the above case there is no indication of whether any proceedings against the subject of the police investigation took place or will take place. If none did then a person's career was destroyed for nothing. I do not condone his actions, but wonder in view of the reduction of his sentence whether Parliament and Government really are capable of taking an overall picture of just what route they are leading the country down.

Wrong Century

Roland195 | | Permalink

Trevor Scott wrote:
Why didn’t the detectives just ring up HMRC and ask for their opinion of the accountant to learn whether he could be trusted in such a situation.

Number 1 because HMRC have way of tracking "good agents" (at least for now) thanks to centralisation. Number 2, who are they to judge anyway?

 

National mentality

watercleaves | | Permalink

trecar wrote:

The proportion of our population that has a criminal conviction exceeds 25%  and that should be deep cause for worry.

 

I'm astounded at this statistic. Are you really sure? Does this 25% include motoring misdemeanors like speeding, faulty lights?

25% Law breakers

trecar | | Permalink

The statistic I quoted was brought up at a Ministry of Justice workshop I attended a few years ago. The figure was confirmed as most probably about right. Remember there are a number of offences under the taxes acts, the companies acts, money laundering regulations etc. that accountants and similar are especially vulnerable to. As you are no doubt aware, if Companies House are so inclined they can prosecute directors of dormant companies for failing to submit an annual return. If the company is dormant has no assets or liabilities that is totally disproportionate, which is why they most probably now just tend to strike the company off. Remember also that for an accountant the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act does not apply, so once you've got a criminal record it's for life. Somehow, something seems to be going wrong somewhere.

The said accountant...

Trevor Scott | | Permalink

... may well come out of prison with a lot more clients. It wouldn't be the first time an accountant has come out of prison with extra clients, of the wrong sort! Who wins then?