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Tax fraudsters ordered to pay back £1m

Tax fraudsters ordered to pay back £1m

Tax cheats assisted by a former HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) officer have been ordered to repay over £1 million for fraudulent activity.

A total of 14 people took part in a £1.2 million tax fraud, including a former HMRC administrative officer, who diverted the money in tax payments to his 13 co-defendants.

Former HMRC officer Michael Kitchen and his co-defendants were all sentenced earlier this year.

The group of cheats included Kitchen's sister, Stephanie Gough, and four family members.

Kitchen’s former job consisted of allocating payments made by businesses to their PAYE accounts. He diverted a proportion of 158 payments to the tax accounts of a circle of friends and associates.

Each were ordered to pay a share of the £1 million and were either given prison sentences or fined and ordered to do community work.

Kitchen was ordered to pay £175,000 by May next year and was sentenced to six years in prison for cheating the public revenue and perverting the court of justice.

Ian Horridge, internal governance at HMRC, said: 'Kitchen abused his position of trust in a sophisticated and sustained fraud aimed at paying the tax liabilities of his friends and associates. HMRC is committed to the highest level of integrity and we take the strongest possible action against the tiny minority who let us all down by falling short of those standards.'

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