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Tax fraud gambler caught

A financial adviser who helped a client reclaim £900,000 in VAT and then gambled some of the proceeds has been jailed.

Mohammad Izhar Ul Haq initially committed the fraud by forging a bank guarantee from the Bank of America so his client could claim a VAT repayment from HMRC. He then gambled some of the proceeds away in a London casino.

However, Haq was jailed for five years last week and has been banned from going into casinos and gambling online for a further three years following his release. Haq had attempted to mitigate his involvement in the fraud and lied to HMRC investigators claiming his fee for services was normally as high as £20,000.

In total he received £200,000 of the fraud and gambled with £130,000 of it.

Additionally, Haq tried to avoid coming to trial by claiming he had fallen ill in Pakistan and was unable to travel. Medical records provided verified this but CCTV footage later showed Haq attending a casino at the same time he was supposedly unwell.

Assistant Director of HMRC Criminal Investigation Martin Brown claimed Haq was not a 'trustworthy financial adviser' and instead labelled him as 'an ingenious document forger.' Meanwhile in sentencing, Judge White called his attempted defence 'a sham'.

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