Rachael Singh, Accountancy Age, Monday 5 July 2010 at 10:17:00

An HMRC investigation sees criminal gang jailed for more than 42 years for self assessment tax fraud

HM Revenue & Customs has jailed a criminal gang for a combined total of 42 years and one month for self assessment tax fraud.

The West London based gang submitted approximately 1,600 self assessment tax returns for fictitious foreign workers claiming they had overpaid income tax.

Eleven members of a Ukrainian criminal gang stole approximately 4.5m through self-assessment fraud and were sentenced to custodial sentences at Southwark Crown Court.

The gang created thousands of false identities using fake passports and documents, opening 750 accounts to receive tax repayments before laundering the money. They attempted to reclaim more than 8m but many of the repayments were identified as fraudulent by HMRC which then began an investigation HMRC.

Peter Millroy, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: ?HMRC takes fraud extremely seriously. In common with commercial financial organisations, we face attempts by individuals and organised criminals to steal from us and we have processes in place to detect and counter fraudulent repayments claims.

"These are kept under constant review to ensure we are able to deal effectively with ever evolving threats.?

HMRC raided the organised gang's properties and found numerous bank cards, national insurance application forms, cash and weapons.

All members of the organised gang were from Ukraine and were collectively sentenced to 42 years and one month with the shortest sentence set at one year nine months and the longest six years one month.

Further reading:

Accountant jailed for 11m tax dodge

Preston North End tackled by taxman

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