Press release -
Birmingham tax advisor jailed for fraud
An independent tax advisor from Birmingham, who stole £400,000 of taxpayers’ money in a VAT and income tax fraud, has been jailed for 18 months at Worcester Crown Court.
An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that for 13 years David Douglass, 45, failed to declare his income or pay the tax due on earnings of more than £1 million,
Adrian Farley, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
“It was pure greed that motivated Douglass to abuse his position as a trusted tax adviser, solely to line his own pockets and enjoy a lifestyle beyond his means. He advised his clients on how much tax they were due to pay, while ignoring his own advice by taking his fee without putting it through the company books or paying anything to HMRC on his own income. He spent the money on luxury cars, holidays and a lifestyle that would otherwise have funded public services.”
“This case sends a clear message to anyone involved or considering fraud against HMRC – your time is up. We are working relentlessly to combat those involved in tax evasion and fraud and bring them before the courts. It is serious crime that we are determined to eradicate. We would encourage anyone with information on tax evasion and fraud to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Douglass, who was a regulated financial adviser, specialised in investment portfolios and pensions.
In court, His Honour Judge Pearce-Higgins QC criticised Douglass’ “cavalier attitude” and sentenced him to 18 months in jail. HMRC is now taking confiscation action to retrieve the proceeds of this crime.
Notes to Editors
Details of sentencing on Friday 18 April 2013, at Worcester Crown Court:
1. David Gower Douglass (DOB 04.01.67) of Silver Birch Drive, Hollywood, Birmingham, was sentenced to 18 months’ jail. He pleaded guilty to charges of Cheating the Public Revenue contrary to Common Law on 11 February 2013.
2. A picture of the defendant is available on HMRC’s flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk or on request.
3. Follow HMRC on Twitter at: @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.