WalesOnLine reports that an accountant who “knew the system inside out” cheated HMRC out of £120,000 and tried to derail their investigation into him.Cardiff Crown Court heard Martyn Arthur deliberately covered his tracks by keeping incomplete records then sent threatening and bullying emails to HMRC staff and prosecutors.
In his sentencing remarks Judge Michael Fitton QC told the defendant: “You are a man who has destroyed your own reputation. You are now professionally worthless.”
The charges of cheating the public revenue related to the five-year period between 2008 and 2013.
Anna Midgley, prosecuting, said Arthur worked as an accountant throughout his career, starting out with the Inland Revenue – now HMRC.
Judge Fitton noted that meant he “knew the system inside out” and had written a book called The Taxpayer Strikes Back about how to “stand up to” the tax authority. Prosecutors suggested he was in a position of trust and responsibility in his more recent role as a self-employed tax adviser.
Ms Midgley said: “In essence, he submitted inaccurate tax returns... in order to avoid paying the tax that was due.” She told the court he covered his tracks by deliberately keeping incomplete records, using multiple accounts and moving money between them.
The court heard HMRC launched a civil inquiry in 2012 and Arthur’s behaviour went from uncooperative to deliberately hostile and aggressive in a bid to put off investigators.
Judge Fitton said he “bombarded” HMRC with emails “to make yourself such a pain for them to deal with, you hoped they would regard you as not worth it and give up and go away”.
He was given an 18 month suspended sentence.
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