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Two Newham fraudsters sentenced for £600k tax scam

PUBLISHED: 18:17 25 October 2016 | UPDATED: 18:17 25 October 2016

The men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court earlier today. Picture: Yuk Mok/PA images

The men were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court earlier today. Picture: Yuk Mok/PA images

PA Archive/PA Images

Five men, including two already in prison, have been found guilty of committing hundred of thousands of pounds of tax fraud.

Mohammed Rabiul Hoque, formerly of Charlemont Road in East Ham, and Sheikh Hussain, of Irenton Street in East Ham, were sentenced today after their scams were thwarted in an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Hoque, 44, was already serving a seven-year prison sentence for a £1.2 million VAT fraud which he helped to carry out between 2003 and 2011 with Mridul Kanti Das, 48.

The pair were arrested in 2012 but continued their criminal activities while awaiting trial, masquerading behind frontmen who claimed to be responsible for their two restaurants, Memsaheb on Thames and Moza Indian.

Hussain, 52, along with Abu Sohal Kadir, 52, and Ashraful Haque, 32, all continued to carry out fraud.

The group pocketed the VAT they charged their customers, liquidated companies with debts to HMRC and then created ‘new’ companies to come in and take over where the previous one left off.

In total, they stole £600,000 between November 2011 and March 2015.

David Margree, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “These men stole money from honest taxpayers in an incredibly brazen way.

“In spite of HMRC’s first investigation in February 2012, they felt that they were above the law and could not be caught.”

Das, formerly of Stanley Road North in Essex, and Hoque both pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating the Public Revenue, on August 8 and August 9 respectively.

They were sentenced today to a consecutive jail sentence of two and a half years and each will now serve a total sentence of nine and a half years.

Both men were disqualified from acting as a director for ten years.

Sheikh Hussain pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue, on August 10. He was jailed for ten months, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Abu Sohal Kadir of Swanstead in Essex, was found guilty of one count of cheating the public revenue, on August 31. He was jailed for ten months, suspended for two years and ordered to carry out 250 hours of unpaid work.

Ashraful Haque from Norfolk, was found guilty of cheating the public revenue, on August 31. He was sentenced to ten months in prison. Haque’s current whereabouts are unknown.

Suspected tax crime can be reported to the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.

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