An accountant from St Austell in Cornwall who cheated HMRC out of £2 million was sentenced to 7 years in prison this week after Cornwall’s biggest ever tax fraud trial.
Simon Terry Pearce, aged 48, had worked as an accountant for 27 years, running S T Pearce Accountants, from St Austell.
Following complaints from a number of his clients HM Revenue and Customs launched a criminal tax investigation. The tax inspectors found that for 8 years Pearce had claimed and pocketed false tax repayments on behalf of at least 16 clients, and sent in deliberately incorrect Tax Returns in order to defraud the Revenue of Income Tax, VAT and Capital Gains Tax. In order to carry out his various tax fiddles he fiddled his own Self-Assessment Tax Returns showing suppressed profits, and sent various forged documents to HMRC and Companies House.
HMRC criminal investigators arrested Pearce in May 2011 and he was charged in October 2012 with: 2 counts of cheating the public revenue, contrary to Common Law; 15 counts of fraud by abuse of position; 1 count of fraud by false representation; 1 count of theft; 1 count of Forgery; and 11 additional counts under the Fraud Act 2006 and Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981.
He pleaded not-guilty in June 2013, but a jury found him guilty of 26 of the 30 offences; following a 10 week trial: which resulted in him getting a custodial sentence of 7 years in jail.
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