Accountant & solicitor jailed for £1.8m VAT fraud

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Rachael Power
Community Correspondent
Sift Media
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A Scottish accountant and solicitor have been jailed for six-and-a-half years collectively  for laundering over £1.8m from VAT frauds.

Accountant Caroline Jane Laing, 55, from Denny and solicitor Richard Housley, 57, from Edinburgh were found guilty in February of laundering the money between 2003 and 2004.

Laing was an accountant for several companies involved in the money laundering. She also operated bank accounts used to launder the profits.

She received two-and-a-half years for one charge of money laundering.

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06th Mar 2013 12:54

Failing to report

I understand that at the relevant time Mr Housley was the Money Laundering Reporting Officer for the solicitors' firm in which he was a partner. 

That may have influenced the decision to prosecute him for failing to report a suspicion as well as for his own involvement in money laundering.


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By seitler
06th Mar 2013 23:08

Wife's wages

Going to prison for putting your Missus on the payroll. Blimey !

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07th Mar 2013 10:29

Wondered about the wife's wage too

At what point does a "wife's wage" become grown up, sent to jail fraud and not spend a few months arguing with HMRC about the scope of her duties & market value of the services provided before agreeing a settlement?

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08th Mar 2013 05:54

Wife's wages

The HMRC website includes this

He was also found guilty of income tax fraud as he falsely claimed that his wife was an employee of the partnership, in order to avoid paying additional higher rate tax. The income tax fraud amounted to a tax loss of £39,147.33. Housley was jailed today for six months on the income tax fraud, six months on failure to report criminal activity, and four years for money laundering at Edinburgh High Court. All sentences to run concurrently.

I only know what I have seen in the media but it sounds to me as if Mr Housley reported some of his own profit share (he was a partner in a firm of solicitors) as if it were income of his wife.  It may be that in the accounts of the firm his wife was not treated as an employee at all.  If that is the case then it was not simply a matter of debating what figure of wife's wages would fairly reflect her duties - it was a matter of misrepresenting whether she was an employee at all.


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By Colster
to tonyaustin
11th Mar 2013 11:41

Wifes Wages

That sounds more reasonable and far more likely than just a case of attributing some element to the wife as wages.  As with all these things there is I suspect far more to the case than the headline suggests.

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11th Mar 2013 12:12

Solicitors & wife wages

Wife's wages for wives that stay at home doing their nails would be on my top five inquiry questions for solicitors, if I was an inspector.

Solicitors have therefore been given a warning?


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04th May 2013 14:14

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