Brothers jailed for massive Gift Aid fraud

Scales of justice-2

Gift Aid fraudsters jailed after HMRC investigation 

23rd May 2016 by Robert Armour 0 Comments

Two brothers have been jailed for their involvement in a £400,000 Gift Aid and VAT fraud after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Accountant Abu Talib Ghadiri, 35 and his brother Mohsin Raza, 33, were found guilty of running a Gift Aid fraud in respect of two charities. the Fatimiyya Trust and The Light, that falsely claimed to promote education, development of medical centres and help victims of natural disasters in Pakistan.

They submitted false repayment claims of £340,000 to HMRC, listing donations from deceased taxpayers, sometimes months after their deaths, and used the details of ineligible taxpayers on the forms to claim the Gift Aid repayments.

Martin Brown, HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service assistant director said: “As an accountant, Ghadiri would have known the seriousness of committing Gift Aid and VAT fraud, but he carried on regardless and submitted false paperwork to substantiate his claims. These individuals stole money that should have been spent on vital public services, not used to line their own pockets, but they are now paying the price.”

These individuals stole money that should have been spent on vital public services

In addition, Ghadiri, submitted false VAT invoices worth £47,000, linked to seven bogus companies. He claimed that the companies had been set up by his estranged ex-girlfriend and he was not involved despite his home address being the registered address for the companies and his National Insurance number being connected to their accounts.

Ghadiri’s former girlfriend set the record straight, telling the court that Ghadiri was in control of the companies and was simply using her details to avoid getting caught.

HMRC began the investigation after checks by a VAT compliance officer found discrepancies in the VAT repayment claims. Investigators uncovered the evidence that proved Ghadiri and Raza were also committing Gift Aid fraud. In a separate fraud, Salih Ozbay, 38, an associate of Ghadiri and company secretary of Smart Price Builders Ltd, had submitted a false VAT repayment claim to HMRC for £69,442.

Ghadiri of Harrow, Middlesex, was sentenced to six years in prison while Raza also of Harrow got four years. 

Addressing Ghadiri, Judge Arran said: "Your evidence was a series of lies, displaying ‎a meanness and cowardice in blaming others. Taking advantage of a dying person was particularly disgraceful. This sentence reflects your sheer dishonesty and lack of remorse.”