Middlesex jewellery company directors are given 7-and-a-half year disqualifications for allowing companys VAT evasion

Mr Tejpreetpal Singh Gill, aged 35 a company director from Hounslow, Middlesex, and Dr Harvinder Singh Rao, aged 41, and from Southall, Middlesex, directors of Blue Saffron Trading Ltd, have each been disqualified for 7-and-a-half years from April 2016 after giving an undertaking to the Secretary of State for Business Innovation & Skills, for involving their company in a scheme linked to VAT fraud.

The disqualifications follow an investigation by the Insolvency Services Public Interest unit. The company traded as a wholesaler of jewellery and fabric between January 2006 and March 2007.

The investigation uncovered that between January 2006 and March 2007 the directors caused or allowed Blue Saffron Trading Ltd to participate in transactions which were connected to the fraudulent evasion of VAT. They were also found to have made wrongful claims for VAT totalling 321,107.

The directors failed to conduct adequate due diligence into the supplier companies despite being made aware of the high risk of VAT fraud in their trade sector. All of the deals conducted by the company were traced back to tax losses totalling at least 251,000.

Paul Titherington, the Official Receiver in the Public Interest Unit, said:

Blue Saffron Trading Ltd was involved in trading in a fraudulent VAT scheme which had been costing the UK Exchequer significant amounts of money at the time the fraud was perpetrated.

This is not a victimless crime, as it impacts on honest tax payers and their families who as a result, suffered the effects of funding shortages in healthcare, education and other front line services.

Regulatory changes, investigative action and legal proceedings have reduced the scale of this fraud from 2007 onwards.