Jailed: Kilburn businessman who carried out £410k VAT fraud
PUBLISHED: 10:55 12 September 2016 | UPDATED: 10:55 12 September 2016
A businessman from Kilburn who carried out a £410,000 VAT fraud using his television production company has been jailed.
Mashallah Ali, of Minster Road, submitted 16 false VAT returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) showing what he chose to declare and pay, rather than what he actually charged on sales between 2011 and 2014.
His ruse was uncovered after suspicious HMRC officers investigated his company’s VAT returns.
After he was arrested in December 2014 he told HMRC he had started “messing around with the VAT” in an attempt to keep the Marylebone-based company Eclipse Sat Ltd afloat.
Last week at Southwark Crown Court he was jailed for two-and-a-half years.
David Margree, from HMRC, said: “Ali knew what he was doing was illegal.
“He was trying to prop up a failing business using public money like a private bank, at the expense of honest taxpayers.
“HMRC is determined to clamp down on this type of crime and to ensure there is a level playing field for all businesses.
“This sentencing sends a clear message to anyone who is considering tax fraud, HMRC can and will come after you and you too could end up behind bars.”