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Ex-HMRC officer caught in £1m fraud

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Fourteen people - including a former HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officer - have been ordered to pay back over £1m for their part in a £1.2m tax fraud.

It follows the prosecution of Michael Kitchen, 47, a former administrative officer for HMRC, who had diverted £1.2m in tax payments to his 13 co-defendants.

All were sentenced earlier this year at Liverpool Crown Court.

Kitchen and seven others were jailed for a total of 18.5 years, and will serve more time in prison if they do not pay up.

Four others received suspended sentences but will go to jail if they do not pay within the time specified; the remaining two have already paid.

Kitchen’s job involved allocating payments made by businesses to their Pay As You Earn (PAYE) accounts. An investigation revealed that he had diverted a proportion from 158 payments to the tax accounts of his co-defendants, who were all friends or associates.

Ian Horridge, internal governance, HMRC, said:”Kitchen abused his position of trust in a sophisticated and sustained fraud aimed at paying the tax liabilities of his friends and associates.

“We…use confiscations to ensure that people don’t benefit financially from their criminal activity. The confiscation orders required all the defendants to pay back their ill-gotten gains, or face jail and still owe the money.”




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