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Fake butchers get the chop in £1m VAT fraud

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Fake butchers get the chop in £1m VAT fraud

Nine men who pretended to be butchers, then made fraudulent VAT refund claims of £1 million by faking invoices, have been sentenced after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Former butcher Kaiser Matlub, from Sheffield, owned Ossett Abbatoir, but he stopped trading in 2003. However, he continued to make VAT refund claims using faked documents, claiming to trade in meat products.

Matlub became so confident that he began to share the scam with friends and family. For a fee, he guided them through the process, advising them how to register for VAT as butchers and carry out their own versions of the fraud.

The other gang members were: Zaheer Yousaf, Vacaas Mahroof, and Paul Crapper, all from Sheffield; Jarrel Clark, of no fixed abode; Mohammadh Ajaib Khan from Nelson, Stanley Miller and Simon Spurr, from Rotherham, and James O’Keefe from Surrey.

Sandra Smith, HMRC’s Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, said:

“Matlub set up his sham company with the sole intention of stealing taxes and then aided others in doing the same. These were the actions of a group of people who decided it was better not to follow the rules, but who are now counting the cost of trying to rip off honest taxpayers.”

Matlub alleged he was paying VAT on the purchase of sheep carcasses from a local abattoir. He claimed his company was then ‘dressing’ the carcasses, selling on meat products such as lamb chops to wholesalers in Yorkshire, on which VAT was not due. This enabling him to reclaim the VAT he had paid when buying the carcasses.

However, the supply chain did not exist and investigators found substantial evidence that Matlub had simply created false invoices, receipts and paperwork to support his multiple fraudulent refund claims, totalling £275,000.

The fraud was uncovered by HMRC investigators and the gang members were each charged in December 2012 with one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property.  

The gang were sentenced on 18 October 2013) at Leeds Crown Court in front of His Honour Judge Jameson QC.

Notes for editors

1.

·  Kaiser Matlub, DOB 15.05.66 of Spinneyfield, Rotherham pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property on 9 April 2013 and was sentenced to four years in prison for each count, to run concurrently.

·  Jarrel Clark, DOB 03.09.74 of no fixed abode pleaded not guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property and was later found guilty by a jury on 27 July 2013. He was sentenced to 4 years in prison for each count, to run concurrently.

·  Zaheer Yousaf, DOB 03.03.82 of Abbeyfield Road, Sheffield pleaded not guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property and was later found guilty by a jury on 27 July 2013. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison for each count, suspended for two years.

·  Vacaas Mahroof, DOB 30.12.85 of Selby Road, Sheffield pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property on 9 April 2013 and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for each count, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

·  Paul Crapper, DOB 09.08.68 of Greenhow Street, Walkley, Sheffield pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property on 9 April 2013 and was sentenced to 16 months in prison for each count, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

·  Mohammadh Ajaib Khan, DOB 01.01.67 of Clegg Street, Nelson pleaded not guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property and was later found guilty by a jury on 29 July 2013. He was sentenced to two years in prison for each count, suspended for two years.

·  Stanley Miller, DOB 07.05.65 of St Paul’s Close, Dinnington pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property on 29 January 2013 and was sentenced to 12 months in prison for each count, suspended for two years.

·  Simon Spurr, DOB 16.06.1982 of Sawn Moor Avenue, Thurcroft pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property on 9 April 2013 and was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work.

·  James O’Keefe, DOB 24.08.86, of no fixed address pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public revenue and one count of laundering criminal property on 9 April 2013 and was ordered to carry out 99 hours of unpaid work.

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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.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
100 Parliament St
SW1A 2BQ London