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28 March 2013, 10:52 | Updated: 28 March 2013, 11:05
A man who used a business employing hundreds in Norfolk to avoid tax has been ordered to pay back £84,000.
Sukhninder Singh, from Thetford, was jailed for 18 months on 27 January 2012. The true extent of his criminal activities came to light after joint raids in October 2009 by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Norfolk Police, the UK Border Agency (UKBA), and the Gangmaster Licensing Authority.
During the raids HMRC uncovered a trail of companies, and periods of self employment, that Singh had used in an attempt to hide his activities. Singh traded under Sunrise Produce Limited between 2002 and 2005 and 2006 to 2009.
Detective Inspector Liz Fernandes from Norfolk Police’s Economic Crime Unit said: “This was a police led, multi-agency investigation into Mr Singh and his businesses. The investigation used the skills of police officers, financial investigators, officers from HMRC and UKBA. This investigation demonstrates how organisations working together can successfully investigate and prosecute members of the public who are causing suffering and harm.”
Singh, of Pennycress Drive, had leased land from farmers in Norfolk, from which he ran a labour provider business for nearly seven years. No tax, VAT or PAYE returns were submitted. HMRC’s forensic accountant used seized documents and bank records to reconstruct accounts and estimate the tax loss as £350,000.
On Wednesday 27 March, Singh was ordered by Norwich Crown Court to pay £84,000 within six months or serve a further 21 months in jail.
He pleaded guilty to cheating HMRC between 6 April 2003 and 20 October 2009 at Norwich Crown Court on 24 October 2011.
Singh’s companies were Sunrise Produce Limited – incorporated December 2002 – dissolved September 2005, and Sunrise Product Limited – incorporated February 2006 – dissolved March 2009.
Gary Forbes Acting Assistant Director Criminal Taxes Unit, HMRC, said: “We all pay extra to compensate for the money criminals like Sukhninder Singh steal from UK taxpayers and will always vigorously seek to recover such ill-gotten gains.”