Martin Buckland told clients he was taking payments to pass on to HMRC but instead pocketed the money himself, spending it on himself and his family.

Swindon Crown Court heard that Buckland practised as a self-employed accountant but his exact qualifications are unknown.

In 2001, the swindling tax adviser took on CCS&N Ltd organising all their tax matters including PAYE, VAT and even the personal tax returns for the directors.

He was given two cheques per month, one payable to IRC which Buckland claimed was the Inland Revenue Collections, and the other made payable to HMRC.

In fact, IRC was nothing to do with the Inland Revenue and was a private venture of Buckland’s – Independent Revenue Consultants.

The discrepancies came to light when HMRC started to ask the directors of CCS&N for paperwork that had not been submitted. It also came to light that no paperwork that had been sent in had been completed correctly.

In the meantime, Buckland had also taken on another client – Titan (Kent) Ltd and once again, asked for 2 cheques every month.

Suspicions were raised when the boss of that company made one of the cheques out to Inland Revenue Collections rather than simply IRC.

Buckland admitted that IRC was his own account which he was investing money into but claimed it “was beneficial to all parties but wasn’t quite legal”.

It was then that both companies asked for an independent analysis of their books where it was discovered that underpayments had been made.

At this point the police were called.

Buckland pleaded guilty to 19 counts of fraud and asked for a further 23 counts to be taken into consideration, making a grand total of £337,144.50.

Matthew Scott, defending, said his client was very sorry for what he had done and the only real mitigation was that he had pleaded guilty.

The court could only confiscate £487.90 that Buckland had in cash when he was arrested so we can only presume the remaining £336,656.60 has already been squandered.

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