Two men involved in a £7m mortgage fraud and an attempted £12m VAT fraud have each been jailed for seven years today.
HM Revenue & Customs investigators found Martin Conrad and Richard Murkin had hijacked plans of a hotel project in Mauritius.
The pair signed contracts with furniture providers to furnish the project and tried to reclaim over £12m in VAT from HMRC, but the fraud was discovered before any money was paid out.
Around £8.8m was paid out to the fraudsters in mortgage payments in relation to the purchase of two commercial premises, but the Metropolitan Police says it prevented a further £70m in fraudulent payments being made.
Conrad and Murkin pleaded guilty in January to fraudulent attempts to obtain the VAT repayment. They also pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud, attempted mortgage fraud and money laundering offences.
They were both sentenced to five years for the mortgage fraud and two years for the VAT fraud.
HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation Chris Martin says: “HMRC worked alongside the Metropolitan Police to bring these fraudsters to justice. Tax evasion is serious, blatant theft and we will continue to pursue those trading fraudulently to the full extent of the law.
“The sentences handed down will serve as a deterrent to anyone who thinks that fraud is a risk worth taking.”