Fraudsters jailed for £107m 'cynical' green tax scam

From BBC - November 10, 2017

Six men who orchestrated an "audacious and cynical" tax fraud have been jailed for between 11 years and 20 months.

They persuaded wealthy people to invest in environmental projects in exchange for tax breaks, but then used the money to fund lavish lifestyles, buying overseas property and luxury holidays.

HM Revenue & Customs said it could have lost up to 107m as a result.

HMRC's Simon York said the men showed "complete disregard" for the ecological causes they claimed to be supporting.

"These individuals thought they had worked out the perfect fraud," he said, adding that work had started to recover the proceeds of their crime.

'Bare-faced dishonesty'

HMRC said the group, led by "self-styled ringleader" and scientist Michael Richards, enticed 730 high earners to invest in research and development projects focused on reforesting areas of Brazil and China.

The convictions follow a 10-year investigation by HMRC.


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