There is sometimes a perception that HMRC don’t use all of the tools available to them, so we thought it worth drawing your attention to a case where the Proceeds of Crime Act has been brought to bear on a jailed fraudster.
A financial investigation was launched after Stanley Miller, 60, was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison back in 2018 after he was found to have pocketed almost £6m in income tax, NICs and VAT between May 2008 and May 2016. The fraudster was not from the umbrella payroll industry, but as we have seen similar levels of fraud within this sector over the years it worth considering the case further.
The financial investigation that took place after he was jailed found that Miller had numerous bank accounts, many of which were overseas, an impressive property portfolio, £35,000 in cash and other luxury items seized from his home.
Detective sergeant Thomas Maughan at the North East Regional Economic Crime Unit said: ‘Time and time again we see criminals jailed who believe they can conceal accounts, finances, and luxury items from us, so when they are released they can return to the lifestyle their illegal activity afforded them.
‘But, thanks to the Proceeds of Crime Act, we are able to continue investigating people like Stanley Miller to see what assets they have, what they may have tried to conceal and where these assets are and, if we find anything which we suspect has links to crime, we can seize it and impose financial orders on that person and ensure they face the courts again.’
Maughan concluded: ‘For some offenders prison might not seem like much of a deterrent if they have a nice home and a healthy bank balance to return to, which is why we carry out comprehensive investigations to ensure these people are stripped of criminal assets and shown in no uncertain terms that crime doesn’t pay.