Accountant Shahzad Rubani has been jailed for more than four years for his part in a £340,000 VAT fraud
He recruited a group of friends and associates to help him set up a chain of VAT-registered companies for the sole purpose of committing fraud.
According to HMRC, the chartered certified accountant from Essex amended the company accounts and submitted false VAT returns for his “clients”, claiming repayments that weren’t due. At the same time, he was claiming jobseekers’ allowance to which he was not entitled.
“Rubani devised a scam he thought was foolproof to deceive HMRC and steal money from the taxpayer,” said Peter Millroy, assistant director, HMRC criminal investigation.
“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.”
Rubani pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years and three months. He was also disqualified from being a director for seven years.
Three of the gang – Kasser Hussain, Imran Khan and Jonathan Burns – received sentences of between two and three years and were disqualified from acting as directors. A fifth defendant, Islam Akram, pleaded guilty but sentencing was adjourned for six weeks.
Akram originally set up a legitimate company called UK’s Best Ltd which sold household goods,but when the business started to fail, he worked with Rubani to allow false VAT returns to be submitted.