An Essex accountant who claimed £340,000 in fraudulent VAT repayments has been jailed for four years and three months, after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
HMRC launched the investigation in 2012 discovering that Shahzad Rubani had recruited friends and associates to help set up a chain of VAT-registered companies purely to commit fraud. He amended the company accounts and submitted false VAT returns for his “clients”, claiming repayments that weren’t due, while committing the fraud he also claimed Jobseekers Allowance that he wasn’t entitled to.
Peter Millroy, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Rubani devised a scam he thought was foolproof to deceive HMRC and steal money from the taxpayer. He used his professional status as a smokescreen and thought his criminal actions would go undetected. He was wrong and is now paying the price with a prison sentence and his reputation and professional career in tatters.”
Four other men were also convicted for their part in the conspiracy, Kasser Hussain from Middlesex, Islam Akram from London and Imran Khan and Jonathan Leslie William Burns, both from Essex.
His Honour Judge Mettyear commented ‘It was the skill and determination of HMRC that brought these defendants to justice”.
Jonathan Leslie William