David Jetuah, Accountancy Age, Friday 6 August 2010 at 09:25:00

Taxman's investigation leads to self-assessment scammer receivingthree-and-a-half year prison sentence

A self-assessment fraudster who fleeced the UK of 500,000 has been jailedfor three and a half years, following an HM Revenue & Customs probe.

Dmytro Shepel, 25, registered 350 fictitious people on the Self Assessmenttax system.

False tax repayment claims were then made for 218 of these cases. In total hetried to steal almost 650,000 of taxpayers? money, HMRC said.

Shepel had been living in the UK under a false Lithuanian identity and hisfake passport was used to open 74 bank accounts over two years, which thenreceived a number of fraudulent repayments.

When HMRC officers raided Shepel?s address they found diaries and documentscontaining lists of fake identities used to fraudulently reclaim tax rebates aswell as blank Self Assessment registration forms.

Officers found fake identities and bank account details in Shepel?s mobilephone memory. When checked, these bank accounts had been used to receivethousands of pounds of fake repayment cash.

Simon Grunwell, assistant director of HMRC Criminal Investigations, said:

"This was a criminal plot which deprived the nation?s public services ofhundreds of thousands of pounds.

"We are determined to stop those involved in this type of criminal activityand bring them before the courts."

Further reading:

Accountantjailed for 1.3m fraud