VAT fraud: Former accountant's 'reputation in tatters'

Handcuffs over newspaper with the word fraud
istock_RapidEye
Share this content
Tags

A former City accountant has pleaded guilty to fraudulently claiming £266,566 in VAT repayments, leaving his “reputation in tatters”.

Parvez Ahmed must now regain his reputation “the hard way” after admitting to four counts of fraudulent evasion of VAT, said Judge Recorder Weatherill QC as he sentenced Ahmed to 15 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and 250 hours of unpaid work. The sentence was concurrent on all four counts. 

An HMRC investigation found that Ahmed, the sole owner and director of a Kent-based consultancy before turning his hand to property development, created false invoices for expenses supposedly incurred when renovating apartments near Spitalfields in London.

The tax authority unearthed the fraudulent scheme after carrying checks on Ahmed’s accounts, and with his bank and suppliers. Ahmed had falsified bank statements in order to overstate his expenditure and increase his VAT repayments.

In his sentencing the judge said Ahmed had a “chance to go straight” but his “reputation is now in tatters”.

“You must regain your reputation the hard way, so go away and don’t re-offend,” the judge concluded.

“Ahmed unlawfully claimed VAT that he wasn’t entitled to,” said HMRC’s fraud investigation service assistant director Mark Cox, “and as a result diverted funding for vital public services into his own pocket. He was caught out when HMRC carried out scrupulous checks on his accounts.”

Cox noted that HMRC is now investing more time and effort into “tracking down those who attempt to rip off the public”. According to HMRC confiscation proceedings to recover proceeds of the crime are now underway.

About Richard Hattersley

Richard is AccountingWEB's practice correspondent. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.

Replies

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
12th Apr 2018 10:03

"suspended sentence" "rebuild your reputation the hard way". A grand an hour, not too shabby eh.

Thanks (1)
By DJKL
to johnjenkins
12th Apr 2018 12:08

But he is possibly not going to keep it.

Must admit that given apparent /implied deliberate falsification of records and sum involved I am also a tad surprised re the suspended sentence

Thanks (1)
avatar
to DJKL
12th Apr 2018 12:24

Perhaps he's done a deal to repay if he's not banged up.

Thanks (1)
avatar
12th Apr 2018 13:57

Had this been benefit fraud and the defendant not a "professional", then the sentence would be very different. This is the kind of thing that brings the legal system into disrepute.

Thanks (7)
avatar
By Ammie
13th Apr 2018 10:44

In my humble opinion, this case illustrates the awkward imbalance in the judicial system and how different presiding judges interpret and conclude differently.

Maybe another indicator that our prisons are full and also experiencing financial contraints.

It seems to me that a murderer sometimes receives a more lenient sentence than a thief or motoring offender. Odd, very odd.

Crime doesn't pay? This guy must be quaking in his boots and feeling remorseful. Yeah, alright.

Thanks (0)
avatar
13th Apr 2018 14:27

It's not exactly a deterrent but then it's not meant to be. If everyone behaved themselves the legal system wouldn't have any clients and banging them up just deprives the legal industry of potential clients.

Wonder how much this case cost in legal fees - maybe more than was stolen?

Thanks (0)
avatar
17th Apr 2018 15:35

Perhaps the 250 hours unpaid work could be used up by applying himself to uncover other like minded folk
vb

Thanks (0)