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Matthew Sutherland, Mohammed Zeb Zaheer and Mohammed Iqbal Khan were jailed for a total of 21 years following an investigation prompted by a falsified bank statement submitted in January 2016.
Sutherland used his company, Convergica (Clinical Information Systems) Ltd, to claim the £29.5m tax relief against a purported £137m spend on developing an IT healthcare system for two countries in the Middle East.
Kath Doyle, deputy director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “These men tried to extract an astronomical sum of money by claiming tax relief from a scheme designed to help legitimate companies do work that seeks to make advances in science and technology.
“This wasn’t research and development, it was out and out fraud. HMRC will continue to create a level playing field for law abiding businesses by rooting out the minority who seek to abuse these schemes, as this result clearly shows.”
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