Three mobile phone traders have been sentenced to a total of 19.5 years for their part in one of the UK’s biggest ever carousel fraud conspiracies.
The sentencing of Taher Majid, Abdul Koser and Quentin Reynolds at Southwark Crown Court follows a major investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, codenamed Operation Euripus.
The trio were involved in what HMRC has described as “one of the UK’s largest ever conspiracies’ that cost the taxpayer £250m.
Operation Euripus saw over 40 suspects arrested and questioned and more than 100 homes and businesses searched.
As the “principal player” who organised the chain of companies involved in the missing trader consipiracy, Majid was sentenced to ten years in prison and disqualified from being a company director for 10 years. Koser and Reynolds were handed five and four-and-a-half year terms, respectively.
Chris Pygall, Deputy Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said in a statement: “VAT fraud is a serious crime which diverts vital income from the UK's public services into the pockets of career criminals. HMRC will do everything in its power to put a stop to this.
“The hard work and dedication of HMRC officers has resulted in these fraudsters behind this particular sustained and determined criminal attack against the taxpayer being brought to justice.”
His Honour Judge David Higgins commented on the sentencing: "This was an attack on the very fabric of our society. It is deplorable and deeply anti-social. The public is entitled to be, and are, outraged."
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