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IFAs and Sipp operators arrested and bailed in suspected £2.5m pension fraud

Eleven people, including some IFAs and Sipp operators, have been arrested and bailed until September following raids in the North West and Midlands linked to £2.5m suspected tax relief fraud involving bogus pensions schemes.

The action is part of an investigation by HMRC in close co-operation with The Pensions Regulator and the FSA.

Fourteen premises were searched including residential addresses in Merseyside, Greater Manchester, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and Cumbria.

Documents, paperwork, mobile phones and computers were seized. The individuals have been questioned.

HMRC assistant director criminal investigations North West Mike O’Grady says: “This is an unusual investigation into what we believe to be an organised attack on tax relief available on self-invested pension schemes.

“We do not expect to know the full scale of this suspected fraud until we have assessed all the evidence collected.”

The arrests follow an investigation by HMRC officers into the suspected fraudulent use of tax relief repayments linked to pension schemes marketed by a number of UK financial firms.

The case involves the suspected fraudulent reclamation of income tax relief on pension contributions contrary to the pension tax rules under Part 4 of the Finance Act 2004.

FSA small firms division head of investments Linda Woodall says: “We have been working closely with HMRC and the TPR on this matter and are monitoring the financial firms involved.

“We will take action if it is appropriate to do so within our remit as a financial services regulator.”

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Comments

There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. IFAs and Sipp operators arrested in suspected £2.5m pension fraud
    This is wrong, if true, but so is claiming expences as an MP for a non-existant mortgage or abusing the system , paid for by the taxpayer, by buying a second home for personal gain rather than renting it….. so when will we see some similar arrests at the House of Commons ?

  2. Douglas Carroll 23rd June 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Quick, Quick, Quick, Slow
    Quick action by the three bodies involved in investigating this suspected fraud would appear to be admirable. But why so slow on investigating the (suspected) fraudulent actions of our MPs?

    There is a government advertising campaign running on the radio at present. A sinister voice announces, “We’re closing in on benefit thieves with every means at our disposal. And when we catch you, you could obtain a criminal record”.

    I suggest that they run the same advert but change the word, ‘benefit’ to expenses and then get on with the job.

  3. admirer of Irananian protesters 23rd June 2009 at 3:31 pm

    ONE RULE FOR THEM…..
    We will never see the same level of diligence over the criminal activities of MPs expenses, simply because there is one rule for those who are in government and another for those they rule over. A classic case of “do as I say not as I do”. The MPs are no better & in some cases probably worse than the benefit cheats & fraudsters they look down on with such disdain. Together with the FSA they even have the gall to complain about IFAs Earning commission, as if that were some kind of crime. They have no integrity & no moral authority to rule over us. Every MP caught up in the expenses scandal should be made to write to all of their constituents asking “R U Owed” Even those who claim to have done nothing wrong. We should pursue this for the next 50 years or so, but they would no doubt bleat about the unfairness of it all. Never mind, they will all be off on 3 months holiday soon, that should make us all sleep easier at night. Unless of course we are paying for their holidays as well!

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