Forest Gate VAT fraudster banned from running companies for 13 years

The High Court on the Strand, London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive

The High Court on the Strand, London. Picture: Anthony Devlin/PA Archive - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A Forest Gate fraudster who tried to cheat the taxman out of millions of pounds has been banned from running companies for 13 years.

Nadeem Ahmed, 42, ignored warnings about his dodgy practices involving fake chains of traders, which ran up ‘losses’ totalling £2.3 million.

He was director of Face Off South Ltd (FOS), a company wound up in April 2015 following a petition by HM Revenue and Customs over an £199,072 unpaid VAT bill.

Investigators found he was involved in a highly-complex missing trader fraud, where a carousel of traders is set up to cheat taxpayers out of VAT payments on cross-border transactions within the EU.

FOS exported more than £38m worth of mobile phones and computers between June and December 2009, according to the Insolvency Service. The company then filed quarterly returns to HMRC attempting to claim back VAT to which it was not entitled.

Ahmed had been warned that FOS’s trades were traced to artificial losses, investigators said.

After the company’s account with an offshore bank complicit with missing trader fraud closed, FOS continued to trade for another VAT quarter by opening an account with an unregistered firm overseas.

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Following a trial in 2013, the court dismissed FOS’s appeal for reclaims and found Ahmed knew the company’s deals were connected to fraud.

In April this year the High Court handed Ahmed — of Glenparke Road, Forest Gate — a disqualification order barring him from serving as a company director for 13 of the maximum 15 years.

The sentences mirrors a 15-year disqualification for Ulhaque Ahtamad, 61, who ran a Buckinghamshire firm involved in a similar tax fiddle involving carbon credits.

“Both Ulhaque Ahtamad and Nadeem Ahmed involved their companies in complex VAT fraud schemes which attempted to cheat taxpayers out of millions of pounds,” said Tony Hannon, official receiver for the Insolvency Service.

“The serious nature of their misconduct has been reflected in the severity of their disqualifications and this should serve as a clear and strong warning to others that we will not hesitate to use enforcement powers to investigate and disqualify directors whose companies defraud the public purse.”