HRMC reveals most wanted tax fugitives

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HMRC has published for the first time the photos and biographies of people they consider to be the top 20 tax fugitives in the UK, responsible for £765m of tax evasion and fraud.

The Revenue has called on the public to help track down the individuals by contacting Crimestoppers; however most of the fugitives are now thought to be living outside the UK.

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About Robert Lovell

Business and finance journalist

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    16th Aug 2012 10:46

    HMRC's Most Wanted

    Old news, I covered this a month ago.

    The Most Wanted also includes pics of Excom etc:)

    http://hmrcisshite.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/hmrcs-most-wanted.html

    Thanks (1)
    to DJKL
    16th Aug 2012 11:03

    Well, in fairness Ken,

    it takes them two months to reply to a standard letter!

    Thanks (0)
    to Portia Nina Levin
    16th Aug 2012 11:15

    Good Point!

    That's a very good point, I was being foolish to expect speed and alacrity from HMRC!

    Thanks (1)
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    By dstickl
    to DJKL
    17th Aug 2012 01:00

    @kenfrost:But it didn't reach the national media then did it ...

    kenfrost wrote:

    Old news, I covered this a month ago.   ...

    But it didn't reach the national media then, unfortunately.  Now that it has, then ...  

    Thanks (0)
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    By JC
    16th Aug 2012 11:19

    Bounty hunter wanted ...

    For percentage reward to deliver 'fugitives' to the law - fee say 2.5%-5% of recoveries

    Any takers ...

    Thanks (2)
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    16th Aug 2012 11:22

    Looking at the details here...

    It seems as though the bulk of the crimes by value are pretty much Carousel Fraud and Tobacco duty evasion. The first is caused by flaws within the system / legislation and the second is caused by the massive discrepancy between the base product and the duty paid product.

    We already have a solution to carousel fraud, which is better enforcement and contingent liability within the supply chain for high value goods.

    For tobacco duty fraud, there is no simple solution, the duty paid is simply excessive and rising. Criminal gangs which were previously involved in drug smuggling have shifted over to tobacco smuggling as it can be shifted in much higher volumes and the chances of being caught appear to be less.

    Although I acknowledge that there are health issues here, by having such high levels of duty for a product which is legal to possess, we are effectively giving aid and comfort to criminal gangs.

    With minimum pricing on alcohol, we are effectively moving in the same direction as well.

    Thanks (4)
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    17th Aug 2012 07:22

    So why isn't ....

    Harnett on that list then?

     

    Thanks (2)
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    By dstickl
    to sbayliss
    17th Aug 2012 08:28

    @ ThornyIssues: Good shot ... Bullseye!

    ThornyIssues wrote:

    So why isn't ... Hartnett on that list then?

    Good shot ... Bullseye!

    Thanks (0)
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    17th Aug 2012 10:25

    I see that one of them was arrested at Heathrow and bailed. He subsequently skipped the country - presumably via Heathrow again!

    Am I alone in thinking that either the Court of HMRC slipped up here?

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    By JC
    17th Aug 2012 10:46

    Or maybe the Equadorian embassy could help ..

    @chicken farmer

    after all they seem to be offering asylum to bail jumpers & those charged with rape so tax fugatives should be a doddle

    Thanks (1)
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    By dstickl
    to michaelblake
    20th Aug 2012 15:54

    @JC:Julian A has NOT "been charged with rape", merely been asked

    JC wrote:

    @chicken farmer

    Or maybe the Equadorian embassy could help ...  after all they seem to be offering asylum to bail jumpers & those charged with rape so tax fugatives should be a doddle

    Hi JC!    For the sake of accuracy: I understand that: Sorry no, JC, Julian A has NOT yet "been charged with rape", he's merely been asked to go to Sweden to answer some Police questions.  IMHO: This is somewhat different from the alleged DSK alleged case, when DSK was allegedly with the IMF.

    For those readers on this site who have expressed a wish to reduce public expenditure [in order to reduce taxes, phew - glad to be on topic!] may I suggest that it would be cheaper for us UK taxpayers if the Swedish police, etc, interviewed Julian A over a video link, wouldn't it, rather than us poor UK taxpayers having to see on TV lots of Met police hanging about the Ecuadoran Embassy [near Harrods] on a Sunday, etc, possibly being paid overtime, on top of normal police salary?

    Thanks (1)
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    17th Aug 2012 12:15

    VAT Tax gap and Fraud

    HMRC`s press release is interesting on a number of fronts, first the fact that the majority of the "tax" which is the sublect of the fraud is VAT. Reference to HMRC Official Statics Release of 21st September 2011 measures th tax gap at £35billion of which £11.4billion is VAT. In the same perion the figure quoted by HMRC for Avoidance is £1.5billion. Now having regard to the recent flurry of HMRC press releases on avoidance and how morally unacceptable it is would the general public be happy to learn that the amoun of VAT defrauded from the system is 7.6 times more than that estimated to be unpaid from avoidance. There is of course the fact that the individuals identified have "had it away with huge amounts of" physical "cash" ie theft and all of them, according to HMRC are on the run with some in foreign climes from whence we will never hear from them again,we hope!. I find it hard to comprehend that bearing in mind the sums involved how any of these people managed not only to convince a Judge to grant them bail but also to skip the country with apparent ease.

    The obvious conclusion from this information is that the VAT system is leaking like a sieve and even when defrauders are identified  HMRC`s system that deals with the prosecution process is not up to the challenge.I suspect that this recent release has been made as part of an orchestrated attempt to justify all of the recent hot air of certain Politicians on the subject of Avoidance. In my view however all it demonstrates is that HMRC`s focus is grossly misplaced and that they need to take a long hard look at how easy it is for  the UK VAT system  to be penetrated by people who are intent on outright theft/fraud call it what you will.  I view these  failures as a source of embarrassment for HMRC`s Board members  and the fact that the Minister takes a different view I find "interesting". Someone at HMRC needs a reality check.

    Thanks (4)
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    20th Aug 2012 13:27

    Forgive me if I sound racist but do these names indicate that the majority of those concerned are not  British by birth or descent and perhaps their countries of origin pay less attention to the rule of law and responsibility to society as a whole.  Should we not be deportinbg them rather than trying to jail them and then have to pay for years to keep them behind bars!!!

    Thanks (2)
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    20th Aug 2012 13:43

    just shows what a shambles it all is.

    You would think you need to be clever to get away with these crimes but NO.

    One guy leaves during his trial?? Hello??

    Thanks (1)
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    to codling
    22nd Aug 2012 13:58

    I suspect that ....

    The Black Knight wrote:

    You would think you need to be clever to get away with these crimes but NO.

    One guy leaves during his trial?? Hello??

     

    The clever ones are in fact getting away with £Bn's.

    Thanks (2)
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    to bernard michael
    23rd Aug 2012 11:39

    Quite!

    ThornyIssues wrote:

    The Black Knight wrote:

    You would think you need to be clever to get away with these crimes but NO.

    One guy leaves during his trial?? Hello??

     

    The clever ones are in fact getting away with £Bn's.

    and they (HMRC) have a rule about taking advice, hints from higher intelligence which is why an obstinate blind eye is turned to the bleeding obvious, and only the seriously stupid are caught by sudo Darwinism.

    Winds me up terrible!

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    20th Aug 2012 15:01

    Dog the bounty hunter

    I have seen him on TV, he can get these people back, whats the reward?

    It cant be too hard to find someone in pakistan with £50m...theres only about 3 of them, they will be on the sunday times ( pakistan edition) rich list.

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    20th Aug 2012 16:53

     If I could help the Wiki

     If I could help the Wiki leaks guy to escape the country I would.

    Now Tax Fraud etc. HMRC wants to do everything on the cheap. They should offer financial rewards. Say 10 percent of the amount recovered.

     

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    By dstickl
    to fawltybasil2575
    20th Aug 2012 18:58

    @philfromleeds:Whistle blowers should "share" & not be "shunned"

    philfromleeds wrote:

     If I could help the Wiki leaks guy to escape the country I would.

    Now Tax Fraud etc. HMRC wants to do everything on the cheap. They should offer financial rewards. Say 10 percent of the amount recovered.

    Hi philfromleeds!  I fully agree, and would add that IF parliament believes in the power of private sector & market forces THEN parliament should put its money where its mouth is, and quickly pass implementable legislation so that whistle blowers aren't "shunned", but that ethical whistle blowers "share" at least 10% of any public savings.

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    to fawltybasil2575
    21st Aug 2012 16:47

    UK taxpayer

    As I understand it, JA is Australian, wanted in Sweden, and wants to seek shelter in Ecuador. In the meantime, the UK taxpayer is picking up the tab for legal costs etc. It's got nothing to do with us so let's just let him go wherever the hell he wants to and get him off the payroll.

    Thanks (3)
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    By ds
    20th Aug 2012 18:10

    JC and the Met

    It would appear to add support to JC's argument that this isn't really about helping the Swedish plod with their enquiries but more to do with packing him off to some hell hole in good ole US and A never to be heard of again.

     

    As for the tax evaders, horse bolted and stable door comes to mind and maybe this is all about being seen to do something about evasion when the crims involved have as much chance behind bars as do the CEO of Barclays, Vodafone et al.

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    21st Aug 2012 09:44

    the reverse side of the coin?

    Is that England no longer exists, and we turn into a nation of state reporters that characterises oppressive regimes.

    HMRC do apparently pay some crime stoppers rewards (very small amounts though)

    It does look as if more got away than are actually behind bars.

    Why do HMRC not make more of these cases? most of which remain unheard of?

    The criminal trial, is public but not publicised, unless the national press make an issue of it.

    Deliberate defaulters.....HMRC have still not found any deliberate defaulters? why is that?

    The problem of tax evaders and company law breakers is that they can rip anyone off as we see on rogue traders when fraudulent businesses are not stopped (when they could have been) by tax and companies act legislation and are left to rip of their next elderly customer.

    I guess this is just another way the government releases cash (life savings) into the economy so has no interest in stopping it.

    Too little too late comes to mind but I suppose they are making a start. A whole lot more hangings are needed to reverse the past 15 years of not giving a monkey's.

    Thanks (2)