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David Price,  jailed for a £143,957 tax fraud
David Price, jailed for a £143,957 tax fraud

Press release -

Fake accountant jailed for tax scam

A Derby bookkeeper who pretended to be a fully qualified accountant to steal £143,957 through tax fraud, sending more than £100,000 of it to a woman he’d never met in Canada, has been jailed.

David Price, 68, of Lingfield Rise in Mickleover, Derby, lied about his financial qualifications to masquerade as a tax advisor before fraudulently claiming tax repayments and keeping money his clients provided to settle their tax bills, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation revealed.

Despite being married for over 40 years, Price sent £102,160 of the money he stole to a woman in Canada he’d struck up an online relationship with, but never met.

The money was sent illegally by breaching anti-money laundering regulations.

HMRC uncovered the frauds after one of Price’s clients was subject to a tax enquiry. Price went to considerable lengths to try and hide his crimes, including making false allegations against HMRC staff and faking letters to his clients telling them HMRC’s enquiry was being investigated by The Adjudicator’s Office, which examines complaints about HMRC.

Richard Young, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“The sheer volume of lies Price told is astonishing. He’s one of the most deceitful men I’ve ever come across. He was in a position of trust, but lied to steal money and then lied to try to block our investigation. Sending the money to a woman he’d never met just makes this case even more bizarre.

“Criminals like Price think they can get away with stealing from the public purse and the honest majority of taxpayers who do the right thing. We will not tolerate this, and I urge anyone with information on this type of fraud to contact the HMRC hotline on 0800 788 887.”

On sentencing, HHJ Robert Egbuna told Price he was ‘selfish and dishonest through and through.’

“You forged and cheated to get what you wanted and preyed on your victims.

“This was a sophisticated offence and you went on the attack when arrested, reporting clients on trumped up charges.”

Price used fake credentials to con his clients into believing he was professionally qualified and stole £50,389 from 13 of his many clients over a five-year period from 2008. He did so by keeping money they gave him to settle their tax bills, adapting their tax returns to HMRC to show they owed nothing.

He also provided HMRC and his clients with different versions of the same accounts. Clients’ tax returns showed they had nothing to pay while the HMRC version claimed a tax repayment, which he pocketed.

Price sent £40,280 to his Canadian companion between 2009 and 2010 before using prepaid cash cards to transfer a further £61,880. At the same time, he declared just £710 profit from his bookkeeping business and his own finances were strained – his mortgage arrears were £13,000.

His frauds were uncovered after he desperately tried to block an audit of one of his clients. He altered the dates on documents sent from HMRC to claim the audit was out of time and therefore could not proceed.

Price also forged a letter from The Adjudicator’s Office to his client, telling them not to respond to HMRC. However the investigation continued and Price was arrested. He then made serious allegations about his treatment, which were investigated and found to be false.

Price made two attempts to stop the trial from going ahead.

He claimed he was not fit to stand trial as he suffered from agoraphobia, claustrophobia, heart failure and panic attacks but a judge ruled it could go ahead.

His second attempt, an application to have the case dismissed because he could not receive a fair trial due to lost evidence, was also rejected.

Price was convicted after a trial and he was sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment at Derby Crown Court on Thursday (01 February 2018).

Confiscation proceedings to recover the stolen money have begun.

Notes to Editors

  1. David Price. DOB: 04/09/1949, of Lingfield Rise, Mickleover in Derby, was charged with 19 counts of Intent to defraud and to the prejudice of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs deliver to an inspector of taxes documents purporting to be true Self Assessment tax returns, which tax returns falsely claimed repayments of tax which were not due and owing contrary to common law. 11 counts of theft from a client contrary to Section 1(1) of the Theft Act 1968, including eight counts of dishonestly and intending thereby to make a gain or to cause loss to another by making a representation which was and knew was misleading, that if a client paid into a bank account the sum representing his tax liability, would also be forwarded to HMRC, contrary to Section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006. One count of transferring criminal property namely money contrary to Section 327 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
  2. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice.
  3. HMRC's Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk.

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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.

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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.

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