Twin tax fraudsters who fraudulently claimed more than £450,000 in Gift Aid repayments after setting up a sham charity, are now both behind bars.
Arfan and Imran Ali from Birmingham, who claimed their charity had been set up to provide clean water to third world countries, tried to mislead the jury by blaming each other for the tax fraud.
Taxation investigators became suspicious of the pair when they discovered that the amount claimed in Gift Aid tax relief, which went back over a period of three years, did not add up.
The amount the pair had falsely claimed would have required £1.2 million in legitimate donations. However, the charities’ bank accounts revealed that the amounts deposited fell far short of this.
Instead of helping third world countries, tax investigators found the brothers had spent the proceeds at a variety of catering companies and a convenience store.
Imran Ali was convicted of tax fraud following a trial in July last 2017 and was sentenced to five years in jail.
Arfan Ali failed to appear in court but was subsequently arrested. Following his trial in March 2018, he was jailed for four years and eight months.
Sentencing Arfan Ali, Her Honour Judge Heidi Kubik QC, said: “Imran Ali sought to blame everything on you and now you have had your own trial, where you have been seeking to blame him in his absence.
“You have each used your status as identical twins to your advantage in an attempt to mislead the jury. Happily, this jury has seen through that. Both of you were actively involved and both of you benefited.”
Dr Anjulika Salhan, a director and tax investigation specialist with Salhan Accountants commented: “If fraud is suspected, taxation investigators have wide ranging powers and can investigate an individual’s financial history, including bank accounts.
“In such circumstances, where a person has deliberately set out to commit tax fraud, HMRC will not hesitate to prosecute.
“Although only a minority of individuals intentionally set out to defraud HMRC, there are many people who find that they have unwittingly broken HMRC’s tax rules and are shocked to discover that they are under the spotlight of a tax investigation.
“At Salhan Accountants, we work extremely hard for clients subjected to a taxation investigation. We not only clarify the issues and the process, but come up with solutions too.”
For more information about our taxation investigation services, please contact us.