HM Revenue & Customs has published an updated rogues gallery of its 2013 most wanted. Tax criminals who have gone on the run, and announced the capture of the 2nd of the 2012 most wanted tax fugitives.
One year on since the publication of the first list, the 2013 gallery includes updated information on the original 20 tax criminals – as well as the addition of 10 more tax fugitives. Biographies and images of the complete list of the 30 most wanted can be viewed online at the “Gallery of Tax Fugitives”. HMRC has also produced an interactive map showing where in the world the tax fugitives are thought to be. The new tax fugitives on the list are being pursued for a range of crimes including VAT fraud, tax evasion and money laundering. The taxman says their crimes have cost the taxpayer between £100,000 and £10 million.
Meanwhile HMRC are crediting the fugitive publicity with getting them more intelligence – leading to the capture of Anthony Judge, who was wanted for his role in a £350,000 tax fraud, and who had been on the run for 10 years. Judge was detained at Heathrow Airport last month as he attempted to enter the UK on a forged passport: and the taxman aims to get him in front of a criminal judge soon. He is the 2nd of HMRC’s most wanted to be captured since the rogues’ gallery was first published.
In May this year, John Nugent (age 53) was apprehended in the USA after the authorities there saw HMRC’s most wanted list. Nugent, the director of a computer company, was charged with a £5.5 million VAT fraud in 1998. He was released on bail but absconded to the USA in 2000 before his trial began. Work between the USA and UK authorities following the Most Wanted campaign led to the American authorities discovering Nugent – who had overstayed on a tourist visa. He was then deported to Dublin (having dual British/ Irish nationality), from where he was extradited to Britain. Nugent pleaded guilty at Manchester Crown Court and was sentenced to four and a half year years’ imprisonment on 31 May 2013.
The tax fugitives gallery has been viewed over 1.5 million times and HMRC claim that they have received new intelligence from the public on the current whereabouts of 17 of the 20 tax cheats named on the original list.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said: “The government has stepped up HMRC’s enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats relentlessly around the world”, whilst on a visit to meet some of HMRC’s criminal investigators undergoing self-defence training – learning the skills needed to apprehend and arrest these allegedly potentially dangerous criminals.
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