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Bogus financial adviser jailed for £1.9m tax fraud

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A bogus financial adviser was jailed for three years after Hull Crown Court heard that he persuaded more than 30 people to make unauthorised transfers of £3.4m from pension funds to avoid paying tax of £1.9m.

Colin Pearson, aged 47, of St Mary’s Walk, Swanland, North Humberside, used the proceeds of the fraud to maintain ‘a lavish lifestyle, driving expensive cars and owning luxury homes both in the UK and Cyprus including a villa on an exclusive golf resort’, HMRC said.

‘Pearson completed UK pension transfer forms on behalf of his clients to falsely claim that the funds were going abroad to avoid paying tax due on the pension withdrawals. He provided fake documentation to register two overseas pension schemes. He then submitted the fake documents using false names, addresses, references and signatures to ensure the pension funds were released without suspicion or delay, to bank accounts that he controlled.’

He took a cut before passing on the balance to his ‘clients’, HMRC said.