Avoidance  

Financial planner guilty of tax evasion

During the investigation, HMRC worked with a number of foreign jurisdictions including Germany, Mauritius, Brazil, the Netherlands, France, Cyprus and the United States and found Blakey and Banyard used offshore companies in Mauritius and the Seychelles to cover their tracks.

The men found to have been involved in the fraudulent investment scheme were convicted on March 3, 2017 after a trial at Southwark Crown Court that began in September 2016.

Blakey was jailed for seven-and-a-half years on March 10, 2017; revised to nine years at the Court of Appeal on May 25, 2017.

Banyard was jailed for four-and-a-half years; revised to five and a half years at the Court of Appeal, on the same dates.

Swingland received a two year sentence, suspended for 18 months.

HMRC is pursuing confiscation against the fraudsters to recover criminal proceeds and is also pursuing those who invested in this now failed avoidance scheme to recover taxes due.

In November 2017, Blakey pleaded guilty to evading Income Tax of £441,000 through the use of offshore companies and bank accounts.

Banyard pleaded guilty to income tax evasion of £207,000 on Monday.

emma.hughes@ft.com

This article has been revised to clarify Martin Adrian King's conviction was for the fraudulent evasion of £235,000 income tax. He was acquitted of all charges in relation to the fraudulent investment scheme.