HMRC's fraud investigations resulted in more than 600 individuals being convicted for their part in tax crimes during 2019, the UK goverment has revealed.
The Fraud Investigation Service continues to bring in around £5bn a year through civil and criminal investigations, according to HMRC's latest data. It also launched new criminal investigations into more than 610 individuals during the last 12 months.
As well as successful prosecutions, HMRC issued a record £7.8m fine to a money service business in West London for breaching the money laundering regulations.
These prosecutions clearly show that we’ll relentlessly pursue those criminals who would try and cheat honest taxpayers by stealing money destined for vital public services"
Simon York, director of the Fraud Investigation Service, said: The majority of people pay their taxes but there remains a hard core who have zero interest in playing by the rules.
"These prosecutions clearly show that we'll relentlessly pursue those criminals who would try and cheat honest taxpayers by stealing money destined for vital public services."
According to the HMRC, This year's top criminal cases include:
2 wealthy professionals who attempted to steal more than £60m through a fraudulent tax avoidance scheme which claimed to invest in HIV research and conservation, and were jailed for a total of 14 and a half years
A Berkshire-based gang that stole £34m in VAT and laundered £87m, the proceeds from selling illicit alcohol through bank accounts in Britain, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Dubai and other countries - were jailed for more than 46 years
A fugitive £17m tax fraudster who is behind bars after he was tracked down to his Prague hideaway and brought back to the UK to serve his 8-year sentence.
The list also includes the case of the five wealthy tax fraudsters ordered to repay £20m or face more time behind bars and still owe the money.
"It means we're increasingly taking on ever more complex frauds and well-resourced opponents, including tackling organised criminals who would otherwise undermine our economy and harm our communities," York added.