Accountant faked his VAT returns to live the good life

First published in News

AN accountant’s career is in tatters after he was convicted of faking VAT returns for five years to avoid paying almost £100,000 in tax.

Tax investigators claimed Martin Kennedy, 54, thought he was “untouchable” and lived a lifestyle “beyond his means” using the proceeds of the fraud.

He admitted failing to declare £93,799 of client business transactions between December 2007 and June 2012 after a probe by the taxman.

His actions resulted in the non-payment of £99,651 in VAT.

Mr Kennedy, of High Street, Walton, was given a tenmonth prison sentence, suspended for two years, after admitting VAT and Fraud Act charges at Ipswich Crown Court. He was also given a sixmonth curfew restricting his movements between 6pm and 6am.

During the investigation, Mr Kennedy claimed he would have been left with no money in the bank and unable to pay his staff if he had declared the right amount of VAT.

HM Revenue and Customs said he bought his marital home for £280,000 while committing the fraud and acquired a large number of shares while continuing to submit false VAT returns.

Paul Barton, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: “Kennedy made deliberate and sustained attempts to fake his VAT returns, to fund a lifestyle well beyond his means.

“He seemed to believe he was untouchable, but instead has learnt the hard way that crime does not pay.

“As well as a criminal record, his reputation and career are in tatters.”

Mr Kennedy told the Gazette he had lost everything and said the case should never have gone to court.

He said: “I did suppress my VAT over a number of years.

“It started because, like a lot of small businesses, I was having problems paying my staff.

“It was either pay them or the VAT.”

Mr Kennedy said he intended to put everything right and approached HMRC when he sold his Walton accounting business in November 2012.

He said: “I went to them and confessed absolutely everything.

I co-operated entirely and handed over all my paperwork.”

He claimed he could have repaid the money and a fine of about £20,000 from the sale of property, but his assets were frozen while the investigation went ahead.

He said: “I was trying to do the right thing.

“Now I’ve lost everything. I don’t have a house or a business and I will almost certainly go bankrupt.”

Comments (3)

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8:52am Wed 22 Jan 14

No! I am Spartacus says...

Makes you wonder what kind of 'creative work' he carried out on his clients accounts as well.

Frankly, good riddance to a crooked accountant. It may not be something we like to do- paying tax- but unless we do there is no NHS, no schools, no police, no clean streets & total anarchy. People may brag about not paying their tax, or just quietly thieve like Martin Kennedy, but they are the ones that help create the moral bankruptcy.
Makes you wonder what kind of 'creative work' he carried out on his clients accounts as well. Frankly, good riddance to a crooked accountant. It may not be something we like to do- paying tax- but unless we do there is no NHS, no schools, no police, no clean streets & total anarchy. People may brag about not paying their tax, or just quietly thieve like Martin Kennedy, but they are the ones that help create the moral bankruptcy. No! I am Spartacus
  • Score: 6

9:24am Wed 22 Jan 14

stevedawson says...

The only guaranteed tax for the "gov"is PAYE every other is either how rich or clever you are.this guy small beans compared with players harkness let go.still he did wrong and now sadly for him must pay.
The only guaranteed tax for the "gov"is PAYE every other is either how rich or clever you are.this guy small beans compared with players harkness let go.still he did wrong and now sadly for him must pay. stevedawson
  • Score: 4

12:33am Thu 23 Jan 14

Boris says...

This man's greed and folly led him to commit fraud. Defrauding HMRC is, as Spartacus says, defrauding all of us. The report says he was living beyond his means. That would have caught up with him sooner or later. Just as well that HMRC put an end to it.
This man's greed and folly led him to commit fraud. Defrauding HMRC is, as Spartacus says, defrauding all of us. The report says he was living beyond his means. That would have caught up with him sooner or later. Just as well that HMRC put an end to it. Boris
  • Score: -1

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