High profile tax adviser jailed after £6m tax evasion

Justice-Fine-Ban-Court-Gavel-Judge-700x450.jpg

A high-profile tax adviser and accountant has been jailed for five years for evading more than £6m in tax.

Denis Christopher Carter Lunn ran Sussex-based firm Christopher Lunn & Co, whose clients included actress Sadie Frost, actor Sean Pertwee and news presenter Fiona Bruce.

HM Revenue and Customs first took action in 2010, when it raided Christopher Lunn & Co’s offices and arrested Lunn.

HMRC found evidence of offences including inflating accountancy fees and the fraudulent use of trading losses, all designed to avoid tax.

Lunn was charged with six counts of cheating the public revenue in 2013. He was acquitted on two charges, but was found guilty of the remaining four in December 2015.

Yesterday Lunn was jailed for five years at Southwark Crown Court.

Civil investigations into Lunn’s clients have so far recovered more than £20m, with a projected £40m expected when all clients have settled.

Lunn’s clients were unaware of his actions. HMRC have given them an amnesty and invited them to repay any tax and interest due.

HMRC enforcement and compliance director general Jennie Granger says: “Lunn believed he could make up fraudulent claims to benefit both himself and his clients. Hard work from HMRC officers across the department proved him wrong.

“I hope this result serves as a reminder to those who try to cheat the public purse – particularly those in the tax profession – that no one is above the law and that HMRC will relentlessly pursue tax evaders to bring them before the courts.”

Lunn’s son, Christopher Jonathan Lunn, who also worked at the firm, was convicted in December 2014 on six counts under the Fraud Act.

He had sent false invoices to HMRC to try to cover up the fraud in the practice.