Umbrella Company Owners Jailed for Massive Payroll Fraud
We are coming to the end of a very warm week, luckily for our office, we have Air Conditioning to keep us cool. I hope that you all have had a way to keep cool under this strong summer sun, if not, you may be like me and letting out a sigh of relief as it gets a little cooler. Moving swiftly on from the weather onto the actual topic for the blog this week, we are looking at a particular Umbrella Company and its unscrupulous owners.
The trio of directors, at the Umbrella Company Quality Premier Services, were jailed for almost 30 years between them for carrying out Payroll Fraud to the tune of a whopping forty five million pounds! The directors, Geoffrey, Joshua, and Andrew, were keeping hold of VAT that was paid to them by recruitment agencies. Now, we all know VAT is supposed to be passed on to the HMRC but apparently that slipped their mind. And then not only did they fail to pay VAT but from 2009 until 2015 they only managed to pay £15,930 in tax. Wow.
The initial enquires were into the younger director, Joshua, after information was passed to the Essex police. It probably didn’t help his case when he posted an image on Social Media posing next to 6 luxury cars (Including a Lamborghini valued at £165,000). The initial investigation found that over the span of 2013 and 2015 over £10m was transferred into his account.
To have a little foray into what they were spending all that money on, aside from the luxury cars. Geoffrey bought four homes in England and Spain with a combined value of £3m, £300,000 on private jet flights to Spain, along with owning several race horses. Joshua’s collection of cars was worth £1m and within his home they found 10 watches with a combined value of £400,000. Andrew purchased four homes for just under £1.4m and six luxury cars.
It’s because of situations like this that you should double… no…triple check that your Umbrella Company is kosher and working above board, as the old saying goes, “when something is too good to be true, it probably is”. A former tax official had this to say on the matter: “I’ve always thought it impossible that companies which charge £15-£30 per worker could pay huge kickbacks for referrals and offer 30 day credit terms without dipping into the VAT held on account, “ she said. “It seems that some of the cases coming to light are even worse than that.”
We allow our Contactors to use whatever umbrella company they wish to use, just make sure that you are using one that is safe and trusted. If you are not with an umbrella company at the moment and would like to be, we recommend our partner Parasol. They are a multi award winning umbrella company who have worked with a range contractors and agencies. If you would like to know more, let us know and we can pass your details onto our contact at Parasol.