A criminal who was running a multi million pound scam on the back of mobile phone and CPU sales has received a further 10 years in prison for failing to pay a £14 million confiscation order, HMRC has said.
In a statement, HMRC reported Jasbinder Bedesha was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison in 2008 for his role in a missing trader VAT fraud. Mobile phones and CPUs would be imported mostly from Dubai, via Europe, into the UK, and then be sold on through other companies – but with VAT added. Once they were sold on several times they would be exported back to Europe, so the conspiracy could then claim back VAT credit on the purchase of goods. This, of course, was never paid to begin with.
Cash from the scam was laundered through companies in Dubai and Spain before dividing the profits.
Assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, Dave Cowie, said in a statement the further ten years shows revenue and customs’ muscle, that it will “pursue every avenue to return the proceeds of crime to the nation or defendants will face severe consequences”.
He said HMRC will continue its investigations to find the missing cash.
This was a planned and “ruthless” attack, Cowie said, to steal “vast amounts of public money”.
“They enjoyed extravagant lifestyles, exclusive homes, performance cars and designer jewellery,” Cowie said, “ultimately at the expense of law abiding tax payers”.