Ghanaian Woman Among Britain’s Top 10 Tax Fraudsters

A UK-based Ghanaian woman with three different names, has been listed in Britain’s top 10 tax dodgers.

Christine Ago, also known as Khristine Frimpong and Jennifer Christine Koranteng (left), was sentenced to three years for money laundering offences in 2008.

The new alleged tax-dodgers have been added to the British Government’s most-wanted list but only one of the original 20 has been caught in the past year.

All the 10 people listed are said to have cost the British taxpayer between £120,000 and £10 million.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) last year published the names and pictures of 20 people accused of fleeing while owing hundreds of thousands of pounds – and in many instances millions.

The appeal helped provide intelligence on 15 of the alleged offenders, no update on four and one was captured, according to HMRC.

A second man not included in the original list of 20 but later said to be on it has also been caught in the last 12 months, the department says.

HMRC has now renewed its appeals on 19 of the suspects while adding 10 new names wanted in connection with offences including VAT fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.

Chancellor George Osborne said the new list will help bring more ‘tax fraudsters’ to justice.

But Labour insisted the most-wanted list had been a ‘huge failure’ with so many suspects yet to be caught.

The new list includes Michael George Voudouri, who pleaded guilty at Glasgow High Court in relation to money laundering linked to VAT fraud but failed to appear for sentencing.

HMRC said the man, aged between 40 and 50, is believed to be residing in northern Cyprus and is estimated to have cost taxpayers £10 million.

Anish Anand, aged between 25 and 35, is also included after failing to appear at Croydon Crown Court in April 2013 in relation to £6 million VAT and film tax credit fraud.

Anand was convicted in his absence last month and is thought to be in the UK.

Another on the list is Michael ‘Arthur’ Fearon, aged between 18 and 25, who was charged in connection with evasion of excise duty on nearly 8.4 million Benson & Hedges cigarettes, according to HMRC.

He is also wanted by the UK Border Agency in connection with money laundering offences and also by Republic of Ireland police for driving offences.

HMRC said he crossed over the border into Northern Ireland driving a Black Mercedes C200 CDI Sport.

The department estimates the Northern Irish man has cost taxpayers £2million and believes he is in the Republic of Ireland.

Mr Osborne said: ‘The Government has stepped up HMRC’s enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats relentlessly around the world.

‘The publication of HMRC’s Most Wanted has already helped catch two people wanted for tax fraud.

‘This new list will help put more tax fraudsters in the spotlight and bring them to justice.’

But shadow Treasury minister Catherine McKinnell said: ‘One year on, it’s a huge failure that 18 of the 20 most wanted tax fraudsters have still not been caught.

‘At a time when families are facing a cost of living crisis, it’s even more important that everyone pays their fair share of tax. The Government needs to do better.’

The two men caught since the most-wanted list first emerged are John Nugent, 53, and Anthony Judge, aged between 35 and 45.

HMRC said Nugent fraudulently claimed more than £22million in duty and VAT reclaims.

The Crown Prosecution Service announced on May 31 that Nugent had been jailed for four and a half years for an £11 million fraud.

Judge was wanted for his role in arranging financial crimes totaling more than £350,000, HMRC said.

He failed to appear at Canterbury Crown Court in 2003 to answer charges relating to money laundering and had not been seen since.

HMRC said Judge was caught at Heathrow Airport on July 4 while travelling on a false passport and has since pleaded guilty.

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