Bankers in Dock for “£2.5m Tax Fraud”

Three ex-RBS bankers, plus five other finance professionals and five others including two film producers, were in the dock today at the City of London Magistrates’ Court – facing criminal charges of deliberately defrauding HMRC of  £2.5 million of tax.

Following a three year tax investigation by HMRC the unlucky 13 were arrested in February last year. HMRC allege that (between 1 January 2007 and 8 February 2012) ten of the defendants knowingly submitted false tax returns.  All 13 have now been charged with various counts of conspiracy to cheat the Revenue, contrary to section 1(1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

The alleged tax fraudsters were accused of setting up two partnership firms, Edinburgh and Walsh LLP and Jenkins and Hyde and McLellan LLP, as special purpose vehicles to allow them to submit the false tax returns. The two firms were purported to be involved with film development. Seven of the thirteen accused were investment bankers, none of whom had any background in film development: the trading business for which both partnerships were supposedly set up.  The two Partnerships made losses: which the individuals would then offset against their other taxable income.  In order to claim the full amount of the losses, an individual partner has to be active in the trade. The deputy head of fraud at the CPS, claimed: “They conspired to cheat the revenue out of £2.5m of tax, via a complex film scheme designed for that purpose.”

The accused are:

1.    Vincent Walsh, 52, a former director at RBS’s UK Equity Business;
2.    Jason Edinburgh, 46, a former senior trader at RBS;
3.    Assad Amin, 43, former RBS global head of equity execution;
4.    James Hyde, 31, former trader at Jeffries Group;
5.    Phillip Jenkins, 48, former trader at Jeffries Group;
6.    Hamish McLellan, former head of international equity sales at Jeffries Group;
7.    Neil Williams-Denton, 40,  director of Greystone Financial Services;
8.    Elspeth Mundy, 45, a financial planning assistant at Greystone Financial Services;
9.    Terence Potter, 53, of Cardiff, film producer;
10.    Christopher Atkins. 37, of Hampstead, London, film producer;
11.    Michael Elsom;
12.    Kimberley Murphy;
13.    Christine Slater.

Jeffries Group is an international bank based in New York.  Greystone Financial Services are a Chartered IFA firm based in Cheshire.

Criminal Prosecutions
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