Keighley Councillor Convicted of Tax Crime

An unqualified “accountant” and Bradford City councillor has been jailed for tax fraud following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.

Robert John Payne, aged 34, was an elected councillor for Keighley ward of Bradford City Council.  In 2001, although having no accountancy or tax qualifications, he set himself up in business as an “accountant”.  He faked invoices in order to manipulate his unsuspecting clients’ accounts, falsely representing their financial position.  He made repayment claims to HMRC, falsely stating his clients had made losses – so as to reclaim VAT and Income Tax of more than £100,000:  which he then pocketed. He had also set up a variety of companies to facilitate his tax fraud.  Payne produced fake invoices and VAT records to support the spurious tax refund claims.  He even continued the tax scam whilst serving a prison sentence for an unrelated offence – by duping a friend into making claims on his behalf.  His previous convictions included general fraud and animal cruelty.

Payne pleaded guilty to 3 counts of tax fraud and 3 counts of acting as a company director whilst disqualified. The week before Christmas he was sentenced to 2 years in prison, and was disqualified from being a company director for 6 years.

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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