Charity Scams: From Gift Aid Repayments to Tax Relief Fraud

Charity Fraudster Scams £270,000 in Gift Aid

An HMRC investigation revealed volunteer charity treasurer Dale Hicks of Cheadle, Stoke-on-Trent stole £270,000 in a Gift Aid repayment fraud. Life Keys charity was set up to support prisoners and ex-prisoners. Hicks’ Gift Aid repayment fraud began when he heard of another charity accidentally submitting an inflated Gift Aid claim. The scheming fraudster learnt that despite the accident, HM Revenue and Customs still completed the repayment on the inflated amount. Thereafter, the tax fraudster submitted 32 false Gift Aid repayment claims to HMRC. He received a total of £270,860 from HMRC, which was then transferred to his personal account. Upon being interviewed by the police, Hicks admitted to his crimes. Later, he pleaded guilty to fraud, using a false instrument and using a false instrument with intent. Hicks was found guilty and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

Father and Son Convicted for Bogus Charity Tax Relief Fraud

In 2016, John and Benjamin Davies of Surrey, stole £5 million from HMRC by claiming fraudulent tax relief. The father and son fraudsters pocketed tax relief through two charities. The Sompan Foundation supported women and children in poverty, while the Kurbet Foundation supported migrants. Furthermore, the tax relief fraudsters also operated a charity in Hungary, called the Tosk Foundation. Thus, through a network of charities, the tax relief fraudsters fabricated donations. Later, they submitted false documentation to the HMRC, as part of their Gift Aid repayment fraud. In total, the tax relief fraud cost HM Revenue and Customs £5 million.

Former HMRC Official Becomes Tax Relief Fraudster

In 2012, former HMRC official David Perrin masterminded an elaborate Gift Aid fraud. The elaborate tax relief swindle was designed to help wealthy clients offset their higher tax rate of 40%. First, the tax relief fraudster advised clients to purchase penny shares in four companies listed and floated on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. The value of these shares was artificially inflated. Next, these shares were donated to charities in order to collect Gift Aid tax relief. Finally, Perrin tried to claim £70 million tax relief on £213 million income and company profits. However, he was caught and jailed in 2012.

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