2nd ‘Singing Accountant’ jailed for £70m charity tax fraud

Roy Faichney, one of the “singing accountants”, and ex-Managing Director of Vantis Tax Ltd, became the 2nd professional tax adviser from that firm to be jailed: for co-ordinating a £70 million charity tax fraud – described in court as “high net worth fiddling”.

Faichney, aged 54, of Pinner, Middlesex, and his deputy, David Perrin hit the headlines when it was revealed in court that Vantis employees had been filmed at their Christmas party singing a rendition of Gloria Gaynor’s gay disco classic!  Their amended lyrics taunted the taxman, as they sung: “I will survive…They should have changed that stupid law, they should have buggered charity, but they left that lovely tax relief, for folks to pay to me… I will survive”.  Both Faichney and Perrin (who was jailed for his part in the tax scam last year) will now be surviving on Her Majesty’s porridge for some time! No doubt they are hoping that no one follows Gloria’s advice and “throws away the key”!

The tax scam was based on fraudulent information to obtain tax relief available when land, property or qualifying shares are given or sold to a charity at less than their market value.  Between 2005 and 2006 Faichney and Perrin used a network of finance, tax and accountant professionals to market their concept as if it was a Marketed Tax Avoidance Scheme.  In fact it was a criminal tax evasion scam.  600 wealthy clients were encouraged to buy shares (worth a few pence each) in 4 new companies. They then listed the companies on the Channel Islands’ Stock Exchange.  Associates were then paid money from an offshore bank account to buy and sell the shares – simply to ramp up their prices.  The share- owners then donated 329,000,000 shares to various unsuspecting registered charities.  They then claimed £70,000,000 of tax relief – based on the shares being worth up to £1 each – when they were still only really worth the pennies they originally cost.  Faichney also used the scheme to evade tax on his £200,000-plus company salary.  Faichney and Perrin aimed to share the £4.5 million profit from the fraudulent tax avoidance scheme.  They laundered their money through a Jersey bank account.

Faichney was charged with cheating the Revenue by dishonestly submitting, and dishonestly facilitating and inducing others, to submit claims for tax relief that falsely stated values of shares which were gifted to charities.  Sentencing Faichney, His Honour Judge Blacksell QC said: “If you ever had a moral compass you lost it…The public are sick and tired of men such as you and schemes such as this.” He was given a 4 year jail term this week, and has been disqualified from acting as a director for the next 10 years.  Confiscation proceedings to recover the proceeds of his tax crimes are ongoing.

Lynam Tax Investigation Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations.  If you are worried about a tax investigation we can advise you on the best course of action.  If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures.  If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.
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