Family running umbrella payroll companies jailed for £45m tax fraud

20 June 2017


A family of fraudsters have been jailed for a total of 27-and-a-half years after being found guilty of stealing more than £45m in the largest payroll VAT scam uncovered in the UK.


CCH Daily reports about a father (age 55) and his son (24) and brother (51) who were sentenced respectively for ten and a half years, eight years and nine years.


The trio ran Central Payroll Specialists (CPS), which was later rebranded as Quality Premier Services (QPS). These were umbrella payroll companies, which were used by recruitment agencies to manage the wages of thousands of temporary workers.


Over the course of three years, the family did not pass the VAT they received from the recruitment agencies to HMRC.

An investigation found that in 2013-14 the son had transferred £2.4m to his personal bank account from CPS with a further £9.2m being transferred to him in 2014-15.


The companies paid just under £4m in VAT between September 2012 and 2015, with HMRC investigators estimating there was just under £46m in unpaid VAT. Tax records also showed that the father and son paid no income tax between 2009 and 2015, while the brother had paid £15,930.


In March 2016, all three were charged with conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and conspiring to conceal, disguise, convert, transfer or remove criminal property. All were found guilty of the charges against them at a trial at Wood Green Crown Court on 5 June.