A Leicester solicitor, who stole nearly £1 million in tax by falsifying property conveyancing documents and lying to his clients, has been sentenced to 10 years jail after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Shameer Sacranie, 40, who fled the country and was sentenced in his absence, was arrested in December 2011. HMRC’s investigations revealed that he had altered legal documents to reduce the amount of Stamp Duty due on 139 properties bought by his clients. Sacranie then charged his clients for Stamp Duty in excess of the fraudulently reduced amounts and pocketed the difference.
Stuart Taylor, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“As a solicitor, Sacranie knew only too well what the consequences of his actions would be. To abuse the trust of his clients was a despicable act, stealing money that had been paid by them in good faith to meet their tax liabilities.
“Today’s sentence should serve as a reminder to those who hold positions of trust that the justice system takes a firm line on those who fall foul of the law.”
Sacranie was due to appear at Nottingham Crown Court on 8 September, but absconded and was sentenced today in his absence.
Notes for editors
1. Shameer Sacranie, DOB 10/12/73, of Naseby Road, Leicester was sentenced to 10 years in jail at Nottingham Crown Court on 25 September 2014. A bench warrant has been issued for his arrest.
2. Anyone with information about people who may be involved in tax fraud can contact the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.
3. Follow HMRC's press office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
4. A photograph is available at HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.