Zaher Somani, an ex-magistrate of Quorn in Leicestershire, got to experience the other side of the bench the hard way – when he was sentenced to prison for a £250,000 tax fraud – at Nottingham Crown Court on 30 January 2015: along with his co-accused, his wife Ashraf, his brother and sister-in-law Pyarali and Shabina Somani, and an employee Darren Green.
Zaher Somani, aged 58, ran 2 Loughborough taxi companies: A1 Taxis and Charnwood Taxis: operating 30 minicabs between them. At the time of his arrest he was also serving as a magistrate in Leicestershire. HMRC tax investigators discovered that Zaher Somani was not declaring the full income of the business, and that family members were hiding money for him in bank accounts and assets in Jersey; Canada; India; Turkey and Morocco. The family shared the £250,000 evaded tax: spending huge sums on property, private schooling and gambling. His false declaration of his income was so low that his wife Ashraf claimed Tax Credits, whilst he gambled millions and acquired an extensive property portfolio.
Pyarali Somani and his wife Shabina committed income tax fraud and Tax Credits fraud totalling of over £60,000. Darren Green, the businesses’ officer manager (aged 44, from Leicester) admitted fiddling his own tax and credits of £11,229, and complicity in Zaher Somani’s £250,000 tax evasion.
Zaher Somani was jailed for three-and-a-half years. Ashraf Somani, aged 43, and Pyarali Somani (aged 61, of Loughborough) were both to sentenced to 15 months imprisonment, and Shabina Somani (aged 50) was sentenced to six months in prison: but all 3 sentences were suspended for 18 months; plus all 3 have to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work, and were put on 7pm-7am curfews for three months. Green was given a 10 month suspended sentence, a nine month supervision order, and a three month 7pm-7am curfew.
HMRC have started Proceeds of Crime Act Confiscation Proceedings in an attempt to recover the fiddled money.
How Can Lynam Tax Investigation Experts Help Me?
Lynam Tax Enquiry Experts are vastly experienced in the practical art of successfully helping clients undergoing serious tax fraud investigations. If you are worried about a tax enquiry 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.
NB: we are often instructed to assist by the defending solicitors. In the last three criminal cases we were involved in, our work led directly to HMRC agreeing to drop the prosecutions – without the case reaching court.
*For a free, private, no obligation consultation, call
Paul Lynam: 0845 643 9997
Andrew Nutbrown: 07718 778710