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Hippey, who ran Colne Valley Financial Centre, stole nearly £250,000 by setting up false business transactions between his own company and a Spanish business.

 

The disgraced accountant falsely reclaimed £238,461.02 in VAT between May 2006 and April 2008.

 

To make matters worse, Hippey was in fact a former Inland Revenue employee.

 

This follows the example set by Mick Alcock who was with the SCO (Special Compliance Office) before being prosecuted and jailed for 5 years.

 

Although Hippey declared himself bankrupt in December 2008, officials at HMRC confirmed they are attempting to recover some of the stolen cash through the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

 

Just how much money they actually manage to recover remains to be seen.

 

HMRC continue to highlight the seriousness of tax fraud, stating “This case clearly demonstrates the lengths to which people will go in order to avoid their tax responsibilities.

 

Tax fraud is a serious criminal offence and, as demonstrated by this case, the justice system looks to impose harsh penalties, including custodial sentences.

 

HM Revenue and Customs remains committed to ensuring that both individuals and businesses meet their tax obligations and will continue to seek out, challenge and in the most serious cases prosecute those who abuse the system.”

 

It is more than likely however, that the former HMRC employee has enjoyed the money he stole and will serve his sentence without HMRC getting a penny back.

 

He is, after all, now a bankrupt man.

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