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16 charged over £6m construction tax fraud

Sixteen people have been charged and summonsed to appear at Birmingham Crown Court next month after an investigation into a £6 million tax fraud in 2009.

Thirteen men and three women, who were arrested in September 2009 following raids by HMRC criminal investigation officers, will appear in court next month on charges of Conspiracy to Cheat the Revenue of VAT, Income tax, National Insurance Contributions and corporation tax and money laundering offences.

During the arrests in September 2009, cash totalling £130,004 was seized - £91,600 from nine sites in the West Midlands and £38,444 from two sites in the Manchester area.

A further £2,000 in dollars and euros were seized. In addition paperwork including bank accounts and computers, Class A drugs and associated equipment – scales and dealer apparatus - were also seized in the West Midlands.

Over 40 search warrants were executed at residential and business premises in the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Nottingham, London and Manchester.

23 people were arrested in September 2009 and investigations are ongoing into the role of other individuals involved in the tax fraud.

CN reported in September 2009 that individuals arrested had been accused of what is known as ‘missing trader’ fraud where an artificial chain of companies is set up and subcontracts labour to the construction industry.

The firms are believed to have taken gross salary payments from contractors, from which they deducted tax and National Insurance payments. The bogus companies were then closed before they had to file their annual tax returns.

HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation Adrian Farley said: “Today sixteen people have been charged linked to what we believe is a fraud resulting in over £6 million being stolen from public funds. We are committed to bringing such cases to the courts and depriving those involved of the proceeds of their crime.”

A total of 10 of the people arrested are from the West Midlands; two are from Worcestershire; three are from Staffordshire and one person in from Sheffield.

 

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