Regulation  

Former legal adviser jailed for tax fraud

Former legal adviser jailed for tax fraud

A former legal representative has been jailed for two years and eight months for hiding his earnings from HM Revenue and Customs and failing to pay approximately £250,000 in tax and National Insurance Contributions.

Godofredo D’alpoim Guedes, 63, failed to declare the income he received acting as an accredited legal adviser to people in police custody in London and the South East.

He also fraudulently charged his clients VAT, using a VAT number which had been de-registered in 2004 when he was made bankrupt.

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John Cooper, assistant director at HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, commented: “He tried to avoid paying his fair share at the expense of honest UK taxpayers and is now paying the price for his criminal actions.

HMRC uncovered the fraud after officers carried out a compliance visit on another company, discovering that it had used Guedes as a legal adviser, along with exposing invoices which showed he was using a de-registered VAT number.

Guedes subsequently filed for bankruptcy, for a third time, in February 2013.

An investigation into his financial affairs revealed that between 2006 and 2013, around £800,000 had been deposited into his bank account. According to HMRC, he defrauded £247,000 by not paying £131,359.99 in Income Tax and £18,968.84 in National Insurance, pocketing £96,699.78 in VAT payments from his clients.

On 13 October 2015, Guedes pleaded guilty to tax fraud. He was jailed for two years and eight months at Isleworth Crown Court on 19 January.

Mr Recorder P Clark, said that Guedes fraudulently received public money meant for the administration of public services.

“You knew that the harder you worked, the more money you would receive and the more you could dishonestly retain,” he stated, adding that Guedes’ actions had been “thoroughly dishonest and disgraceful”.

peter.walker@ft.com