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.
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