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It’s a fraud

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Fraud cases totalling nearly £1bn – a 10-year high – have reached the courts, according to a study by accountant KPMG. Its Fraud Barometer recorded 222 cases involving £942m going to court in 2005, up from 172 cases worth £329m in 2004.

The Government was the biggest victim of fraud but financial firms were also badly hit, losing 10 times more than they did in 2004. KPMG noted the figures reflected more fraud and a greater willingness to prosecute.

“One of the biggest scams must have been the tax credits fiasco, with even Revenue staff having their identities stolen for fraudulent claims,” said financial adviser Martin Cunningham. “That takes the biscuit, really.”

KPMG also noted ‘carousel fraud’, where VAT is avoided on phones and tobacco, increased hugely and was worth £100m alone.


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