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Accountant to the stars jailed over tax fraud

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HMRC reports that a tax adviser and accountant to the media industry has been jailed for five years for evading more than £6m in tax. Denis Lunn ran a Sussex-based accountancy firm, Christopher Lunn & Co, whose 7,000-plus clients included many from the media and entertainment worlds.

HMRC investigated his firm and in 2010 the premises in Crowborough were searched, resulting in Lunn’s arrest. HMRC uncovered evidence of a range of serious offences, which included the inflating of accountancy fees and the fraudulent use of trading losses – all intended to help Lunn and his clients evade paying their fair share of tax.

After five years of detailed investigation, Lunn was convicted at Southwark Crown Court in December 2015, where a jury found him guilty of four counts of cheating the public revenue. Jennie Granger, HMRC’s director general of enforcement and compliance, commented: ‘Lunn believed he could make up fraudulent claims to benefit both himself and his clients. This long running investigation has already recovered £20m as Lunn’s former clients settle their tax liabilities, with more to come.’

HMRC has now started confiscation proceedings to strip Lunn of any financial gain he made as a result of his criminal activity. As Lunn’s clients were unaware of his actions, HMRC has offered them a chance to put things right for themselves by paying any tax and interest due. Civil investigations into Lunn’s clients are projected to recover £40m once all clients have settled.

Issue: 1292
Categories: News