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News - 29 August 2013

Cyber attack leads to arrests for suspected tax fraud

HMRC investigators worked in close cooperation with their Italian counterparts the Polizia di Stato, Polizia Postale e delle comunicazioni (State Police responsible for investigating cybercrime) to identify and arrest a man at Stansted airport on Saturday 24 August 2013, as the suspect disembarked a flight from Italy. He was subsequently charged with Cheating the Revenue and has been remanded in custody.

He is one of five members of a suspected organised criminal gang have been arrested on suspicion of launching a cyber attack against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in an attempted £500,000 tax fraud.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS comments:
“The group is suspected of illegally obtaining personal data from third parties in order to set up a number of false Self Assessment accounts with HMRC, beginning over the Jubilee bank holiday weekend in 2012, with the intention of attempting to steal large sums of false tax rebates.”

Andrew Sackey, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
"HMRC's online systems proved extremely resilient to these attacks - they correctly identified and prevented the vast majority of false repayment attempts from the outset.

“These arrests clearly demonstrate that we can, and will, apprehend those suspected of attempting to cheat UK taxpayers by defrauding HMRC, with international assistance if necessary.”

For business advice and a more personal approach, contact Lavinia Newman, Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar to discuss how ABDS can help

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail:

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