An IT consultant who failed to declare almost £2 million of income received from an IT consultancy business, was jailed for 5 years today for tax fraud.
Stephen Maxwell (53) claimed he had lost income after being involved in the Cumbria train disaster in 2007 which killed one passenger. He was hailed a hero for rescuing fellow passengers but an investigation by HMRC, officers showed he had paid no tax for 9 years before the crash.
Between 1999 and 2008 Maxwell worked as an IT consultant for City of London banks. Fees were paid to companies - of which he was a hidden beneficiary - registered in Gibraltar and the Isle of Man. From 2005 the income was paid to a UK registered company which never made any tax returns.
David Odd, HMRC's Assistant Director Criminal Investigation in Scotland, said:
"This was a case of deliberate and systematic fraud. The tax system depends on people being honest but Maxwell consistently tried to conceal his income.
"Income tax fraud is not a victimless crime and HMRC take a very serious view of anyone who acts in this manner. We have robust procedures to identify abuse of our tax systems and are committed to pursuing any such fraud vigorously."