A city accountant turned property developer who created false invoices to commit £260,000 VAT fraud has been sentenced to jail.
Parvez Ahmed, 43, of Sidcup, Kent, fraudulently claimed £266,556 in VAT repayments for expenses he said were incurred while renovating apartments near Spitalfields, London.
But an investigation by HMRC revealed that Mr Ahmed exaggerated his expenditure by submitting falsified bank statements to increase VAT repayments he claimed. Checks with his bank and suppliers uncovered the extent of his lies.
Mark Cox, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “[Mr] Ahmed unlawfully claimed VAT that he wasn’t entitled to and as a result diverted funding for vital public services into his own pocket. He was caught out when HMRC carried out scrupulous checks on his accounts."
Mr Ahmed pleaded guilty to VAT fraud on 9 February 2018 at Croydon Crown Court. On 6 April 2018, at the same court, Mr Recorder Weatherill QC sentenced him to 15 months in jail, suspended for two years. Mr Ahmed was also ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work.
The judge, Mr Recorder Weatherill QC, told Mr Ahmed he had a "chance to go straight" but that his "reputation was in tatters" and he was unlikely to find employment in the banking world. He said: "You must regain your reputation the hard way, so go away and don’t reoffend."
Confiscation proceedings to recover proceeds of the crime are under way.
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