On 21st March 2018, Sandeep Singh Gill was made subject to a £1 million confiscation order at Isleworth Crown Court, with a benefit finding of £6.2 million. Andrew Bird
, James Fletcher
and John Keal
were instructed on behalf of the prosecution. The investigation was by HM Revenue and Customs.
This brings to an end a series of cases which commenced in 2007 with Andrew Bird being instructed by the RCPO in the Court of Appeal in the case of UMBS Online Limited – an appeal relating to a Restraint Order.
UMBS stands for Universal Mercantile Building Society, which was set up and run, in the words of one Judge as “a fraudsters’ bank”. It was used as a facility for transferring funds for the purposes of MTIC fraud. Its customers were able to transfer funds to each other in a circular (carousel) pattern, to draw upon an unsecured overdraft of up to £2 million for this purpose, and to print out selective bank statements as evidence in HMRC investigations.
UMBS itself was convicted of fraudulent trading in 2011 and sentenced to a £2 million fine and £5 million confiscation order, which was paid immediately from its restrained assets. Andrew Bird, leading Rebecca Chalkley of 18 Red Lion Court, was instructed for the prosecution.
Sandeep Singh Gill was one of the founders of UMBS and he allowed his Swiss bank accounts to be used for laundering funds which came from it. He was convicted of money laundering in 2016 and sentenced to 6 years’ imprisonment. His application for leave to appeal against conviction was dismissed following a hearing in the Court of Appeal in 2017.