Tax evasion didn’t pay dividends for two men from Orpington who were recently sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court for a £6 million fraud.
66 year old Marcus McKinley, and his son Michael, aged 40, pleaded guilty to false accounting and cheating the public revenue.
From 1997 to 2004 they drew up false invoices to disguise withdrawals worth £18 million from two construction companies. The invoices allowed them to fraudulently reclaim £3 million in VAT and also reduced their corporation tax liability.
HMRC’s assistant director of criminal investigations, Peter Millroy, said the pair funded a luxurious lifestyle from their activities.
Marcus McKinley received a four year jail sentence and a ten year ban on holding a company directorship. Son Michael was given a 12-month prison sentence suspended for a period of two years. Michael was also ordered to do 300 hours community service and banned from being a company director for 3 years.
This is just one example of the strict way tax criminals are now dealt with in the UK. Accountants in London were no doubt shocked last year when one of their own received an eight year jail sentence after stealing £11 million in VAT and income tax.
As HMRC comes under increased pressure to bring in as much revenue as possible, we will no doubt see many more tax evasion cases coming before the courts in the not too distant future.