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Former tax body president jailed for tax fraud

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A former president of the Association of Taxation Technicians and a fellow company director have been jailed for eight and half years each for a £5m pension scheme tax fraud.

Andrew Meeson became ATT president in July 2011. He stepped down three months later, citing ‘personal reasons’ relating to an HMRC investigation.

An ATT spokesman told Tax Journal: ‘It is right that HMRC takes firm action against tax fraud. They have our full support in doing so.’

The ATT is a charity and describes itself as the leading professional body for those providing UK tax compliance services. The Chartered Institute of Taxation, with which the ATT shares costs and a branch network, is a ‘connected charity’.

Meeson, aged 51, of George Street, Wolverhampton, and his associate Peter Spencer Bradley, aged 45, of Lower Penn, Wolverhampton, were found guilty of a conspiracy that centred on two pension schemes administered by their company, Tudor Capital Management Limited.

HMRC investigators found that between June 2007 and March 2010 they received income tax repayments amounting to £5m. They claimed that this was the refund due on £20m of contributions pension scheme members had made, but ‘investigators found these contributions did not exist’.

Simon De Kayne, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: ‘This was blatant theft from the UK economy by people who exploited their positions of trust and authority. This prosecution reinforces our effectiveness in the crackdown to uncover and bring before the courts those involved in tax evasion and fraud.’

Meeson and Bradley were also disqualified from being company directors for six years.

A trustee of the pension fund, 48 year-old Steven Price of Studley, West Midlands, pleaded guilty to obtaining documents by deception, and was given an 18 month prison sentence suspended for two years.

Confiscation proceedings are underway, HMRC added.