A group of family and friends who attempted to steal more than £170,000 by making false tax claims, has been sentenced.
Brothers-in-law Naineshbhai and Dipeshkumar Patel, of Luton and Milton Keynes respectively, were the ringleaders of the scam which was uncovered after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
It involved making fraudulent claims for £179,411 by submitting tax returns going back three years with false information about business expenses. The pair hijacked the personal details of unaware taxpayers for some of the claims but had the money paid directly into their own bank accounts or the accounts of three accomplices.
Ankitkumar Mistry, of London’s Forest Gate, Krupalkumar Patel, of Maidstone, and Vidiya Patel, of Wellingborough, all received fraudulent payments from HMRC into their accounts before sharing the money with the two brothers-in-law.
Another suspect fled to India after being interviewed by HMRC while a seventh suspect was deported.
Naineshbhai and Dipeshkumar Patel were jailed for five years, eight months and three years, two months respectively. Ankitkumar Mistry and Krupalkumar Patel were each jailed for 15 months and Vidiya Patel received a conditional discharge for 12 months.
They were all sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (May 19).
Action to recover the proceeds of the crime is now underway.