Operation Janitor was a large-scale VAT fraud investigated and prosecuted by SOCA. The fraud involved nearly 20 companies and abuse of the zero-rated vat reclaims system for new build properties. The companies were based in a number of cities from Birmingham to Manchester. Nearly 30 people were prosecuted in 4 trials for Conspiracy to Cheat the HMRC. The value of the fraud was put at over £2.6m. Ashmans Solicitors represented MS who was one of the director’s of one of the companies at the heart of the conspiracy set up to defraud the Revenue. MS’s company was one of the first to be set up and was amongst highest in terms of fraudulent activity in the conspiracy.
MS’s company submitted one of the largest numbers of VAT reclaims. The reclaims were supported with fraudulent invoices and followed up with regular calls to HMRC. During the 10 week trial at Birmingham Crown Court in which the Crown relied upon over 23,000 pages of evidence. Ashmans’ through our diligent and thorough consideration of the evidence successfully defended MS by establishing that he had been nothing to do with the conspiracy. After nearly 5 days of deliberating, the jury acquitted MS of the charge of Conspiracy to Cheat HMRC.