Accountant sang sick song as he ripped off the public

By Bridging Loan Directory -

A professional tax adviser has been found guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court of trying to defraud honest taxpayers of £70m. He spent his cut of the stolen cash on expensive second homes, exotic holidays, works of art and luxury cars.

David Perrin, Deputy Managing Director at Vantis Tax Ltd, devised and operated a tax avoidance scheme which he sold to wealthy taxpayers in order to exploit the law on giving shares to charity. The scheme allowed him to pocket more than £2m in fees from their unsuspecting clients.

Perrin used a network of finance professionals to advise more than 600 wealthy clients to buy shares, worth a few pence each, in four new companies he had set up. He then listed the companies on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange and paid people money from an offshore account to buy and sell the shares simply to inflate their price.

The share owners then donated 329 million shares to various unsuspecting registered charities and tried to claim £70m tax relief on a total of £213m of income and company profits. This was based on the shares being worth up to £1 each, rather than the pennies they were originally bought for. Perrin also used the bogus scheme to claim money back.

The scheme proved so popular that Vantis employees performed a smug celebratory song at their annual conference, to the tune of “I will survive”. It included the verse: “They should have changed that stupid law, they should have buggered charity, but they have left that lovely tax relief, for folks to pay to me.”

Jim Graham, HMRC Criminal Investigator, said:

“With his knowledge of the tax system, Perrin thought that he was one step ahead of both HMRC and the law. This cynical fraud not only stole millions of pounds from taxpayers, but also conned innocent charities into accepting gifts of virtually worthless shares, just so Perrin could inflate his own criminal earnings.”

He will be sentenced on 9 February 2012 and confiscation proceedings are underway.