An accountant lost his ICAEW appeal to overturn a disciplinary reprimand after tribunal found he verbally abused and threatened HMRC staff, but he did succeed in getting his fine reduced.
Run Chai Pan, also known as Jon Fisher and Simon Yuen Choi Poon, was severely reprimanded, fined £7,500 (reduced to £5,000) and ordered to pay costs of over £38,000 for offences earlier this year.
The ICAEW's November disciplinary report summarised the findings of his appeal, which followed a tribunal earlier this year that found Pan had threatened HMRC officers on several occasions with physical violence. He told one female officer he would give her “a good punching”, the tribunal found.
Between May 2006 and October 2007, Pan told one officer to leave a meeting before he punched him and told another that if he had entered his premises he would have killed him. On a third occasion he told one tax official he intended to give her colleague a “hammering” at a meeting.
During a tax investigation into one of his clients Pan shouted at another HMRC officer and accused her of unprofessional behaviour.
Other reported breaches included telling another officer that he regarded Inland Revenue enquiries as “war” and telling another HMRC staff member during a telephone conversation that he would like to punch him on the nose.
The heard that on another occasion he had warned officials that if they visited Chinese takeaways after 9pm they were asking to be killed or stabbed to death.
The accountant appealed the decision by claiming among other things that he was unwell when the hearing took place and that HMRC witnesses had lied. Neither he nor his accusers had given evidence on oath to the disciplinary committee tribunal. He also argued that the sentence was too harsh
However the ICAEW appeal concluded that the complaints had been proven and that he would still have pay costs and be severely reprimanded. But it reduced the fine from £7,500 to £5,000.
The appeal committee added that HMRC witnesses had not lied, as their evidence was in every instance “corroborated by a contemporaneous record of the incident involving the appellant, and in rejecting that of the appellant whose evidence, written and oral, was significantly inconsistent”.
“The appeal panel agreed with the DCT [disciplinary committee tribunal] in rejecting as fanciful the appellant’s suggestion that the witnesses from HMRC had engaged in a conspiracy to defame the appellant either because of his success rate in challenging tax assessments or because they were racially prejudiced against a Chinese.”