Edmund Burge and Serena Gates have successfully prosecuted a former Inland Revenue Tax Officer for a £7m tax fraud, in a trial at Southwark Crown Court lasting 4 weeks. 

David Michael Hughes had started his career at the Inland Revenue before becoming an independent tax consultant.  Between 2010 and 2012 he, along with his business partner, an employee and a client, operated a pay-roll fraud which netted £7m in taxes which they failed to declare to HMRC.  Hughes was the architect and overall organiser of the fraud, which involved channelling the taxes through numerous ‘off-the-shelf’ companies in the UK and abroad, including Gibraltar, Belize and Dubai.  He is thought to have received around £2.5m of the fraud’s proceeds, and had been living in Chile, Dubai and Northern Cyprus from 2011 until his arrest in January. 

On 16th August he was sentenced to 9 and a half years imprisonment, and was disqualified from acting as a company director for 12 years.  Edmund and Serena were instructed by the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS in London.