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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Thursday, 20 March 2008
I recently wrote about Craig Gordon, the HMRC employee who was being tried for fraud.
He had filed false tax claims and falsely claimed around £190K from HMRC, the prosecution was able to prove that he stole £120K. Gordon admitted to being involved in a bogus financial firm, so that he could claim a series of large tax repayments from HMRC over a two-year period.
He committed the offences while working as a customs officer at the Lothian 2 Area Office in Saughton House, Broomhouse Drive, Edinburgh between February 19, 2003, and December 16, 2004.
He has now been found guilty and sentenced to five years in jail.
However, it seems that according to an insider Gordon was being watched by HMRC for around 15 months before he was arrested.
During that period he was still issuing repayments, and the local management were instructed to let the repayments go so that he would not be alerted.
HMRC have an internal investigation section it used to called BIO (Boards Investigation Office), it is now called IG (Internal Governance - Criminal).
It is alleged that they were monitoring Gordon in collaboration with HMRC's Internal Audit Office (IAO). IAO can access and audit all the computer activity of any HMRC employee.
It seems to be normal practise for BIO/IG not to suspend an employee until they build up a water tight case against them, instead of suspending them as soon as a suspicion is aroused.
Whilst I agree that building up a water tight case is necessary in order to bring about a successful prosecution, allowing a fraud to continue for 15 months seems excessive.
Could this not have been wrapped up and brought to trial in less than 15 months?
Tax does have to be taxing.
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