VAT fraudsters jailed and banned
TWO south Manchester businessmen, who admitted a VAT payments fraud worth £250,000, have been jailed and banned as company directors.
The men, both 48, one from Sale and the other from Whalley Range were both sentenced to 20 months in prison at Manchester Crown Court and disqualified from being company directors for five years, after pleading guilty to VAT fraud.
Investigations by HM Revenue and Customs revealed that Nasir Ul Din Ahmed, 48, the director of three companies and Syed Nasir Abbas, 48, the company secretary of these companies, had deliberately faked VAT repayment claims between 2008 and 2011.
HMRC discovered the pair had falsified invoices and bank statements to make the companies appear to be legitimately trading during the fraud.
The businesses involved, two property development firm and a mobile phone retailer, were all registered to an address on Wellington Road South, Stockport.
Ahmed of Washway Road, Sale, pleaded guilty to fraudulent evasion of VAT by submitting false VAT returns on behalf of Landmarc Properties (Manchester) Ltd ; producing false documents in support of LPML’s VAT returns; and submitting false VAT returns on behalf of Centurion Developments (Europe) Ltd (CDEL) contrary to S72 of the VAT Act 1994 and fraud contrary to S7 of the Fraud Act 2006.
Abbas of Oakfield Avenue, Whalley Range, Manchester, pleaded guilty to producing false documents in support of LPML’s VAT returns; submitting false VAT returns on behalf of CDEL; and submitting false VAT returns on behalf of The Fone Shop Ltd.
Sandra Smith, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “This was a deliberate attempt to defraud the public purse by pocketing VAT repayments to buy property, personal possessions and fund their lifestyles. Our investigations unravelled the false invoice trail used to steal public funds. The sentences reflect how serious this fraud is.”
The pair were sentenced on February 29, having pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing.
The three businesses associated with this fraud are: Landmarc Properties (Manchester) Ltd (LPML) – a property development company. Ahmed was the director; Centurion Developments (Europe) Ltd (CDEL) a property development company. Ahmed was the director and Abbas was the company secretary of CDEL and The Fone Shop Ltd, of which Ahmed was the director.