Tag Archive: fraudster

Jailed ex-magistrate tax fraudster must repay over £250,000

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A tax fraudster former magistrate and his brother have been ordered to repay a total of £443,190 or face prison.

Zaher Somani, 58, of Quorn, was jailed for tax fraud and money laundering in 2015, after a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found he lied about his income and hid the profits from his two Loughborough taxi companies in offshore bank accounts.

Somani’s brother Pyarali and other family members were also sentenced in 2015 for their part in the conspiracy.

A court today ruled that Zaher, who was a serving magistrate in the Loughborough area, must repay a total of £254,375 within three months – plus £54,000 costs – or face another two years in prison. Pyarali must pay £188,812 plus £28,000 costs.

Stuart Taylor, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Somani had the audacity to sit in judgement on others while living a life funded by crime. He and his brother are being stripped of their illegal profits.

“We will ensure tax fraudsters pay money back to the honest majority they stole from. They cannot be allowed to take funding from our public services. Anyone with information about tax fraud should contact the HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Somani owned two Loughborough taxi firms - A1 and Charnwood Taxis – and had 30 private hire vehicles.

He lied about his earnings on Self Assessment returns while family members helped hide his company’s profits. The family purchased property in Canada, Turkey and Morocco as well as putting cash in offshore bank accounts across the world.

They shared the profits from the scam with huge amounts being spent on property, private schools and gambling.

The defendants were ordered to repay the money at Nottingham Crown Court on 12th June 2017.

West Yorkshire cities names ‘Crash for Cash hotspots’

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BUMP: Despite the number of induced accidents falling by two per cent, Leeds and Bradford have both risen in the UK rankings for crash for cash locations

BUMP: Despite the number of induced accidents falling by two per cent, Leeds and Bradford have both risen in the UK rankings for crash for cash locations

Motorists ‘put at risk’ by induced accident fraudsters

Leeds and Bradford have been named as two of the ten worst areas in the UK for cash for crash incidents, as data published this week shows such claims are being made every three hours.

Aviva, the UK’s leading insurer, detected more than 3,000 organised claimants last year.

Leeds was named as the fourth most prevalent location, up one position from fifth in 2014, whilst Bradford also rises two places to seventh.

The number of induced accidents (where fraudsters deliberately target innocent motorists to cause accidents in order to claim whiplash compensation) remained worryingly close to 2014’s record levels, dropping just two per cent in 2015, according to figures from Aviva.

Conversely, the number of ‘staged’ (when two damaged cars are brought together to make it look like an accident) and bogus accidents detected by Aviva fell by 40 per cent, as tougher fraud prevention tools at the point of sale have stopped fraudsters.

Tom Gardiner, Head of Fraud, Aviva, said, “We remain very concerned that fraudsters continue to put their own greed ahead of innocent motorists’ safety. Our figures show induced accidents now account for nearly half of all organised motor fraud we detect.

“Crash for cash does not just push up premiums for genuine customers, it puts innocent motorists at risk. It is also a significant drain on scarce public resources such as ambulance, police and A&E time, all of which are wasted on these entirely bogus claims. The number of whiplash claims is a problem unique to the UK and needs urgent reform.

“We support the proposals outlined by the Chancellor in the Autumn Statement, which included Aviva’s call for removing compensation from minor, short-term injuries. We believe this will end the gravy train for fraudsters, and we have pledged to pass 100% of the savings from the reforms on to our customers.”

Motor fraud remains the largest source of fraud Aviva detects, representing 60 per cent of all claims fraud with a value of £58m.

One-in-nine whiplash claims submitted to Aviva is tainted by fraud, and Aviva has more than 17,000 suspicious whiplash claims under investigation, with 4,000 motor injury claims linked to known fraud rings.

Birmingham cemented its position as the nation’s crash for cash capital in 2015 by increasing its share of these claims from 19 per cent in 2014 to 25 per cent - one in four - last year.

In fact, Aviva detected more induced accidents in Birmingham than the rest of the ‘Top 10’ locations combined.