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HMRC payments team worker jailed for £2.4m fraud

Friday 9th March, 2018

Susanne Green, 38 from Elgin was described by a judge as the "lynchpin" of a massive scam involving a gang of six who have now been jailed for a total of more than 24 years.

A three-year investigation found she had used her position in the Electronic Payments Team at HMRC's office in Southend, Essex, to identify unallocated VAT payments and fraudulently pay them elsewhere.

Green used company details provided by accountants Michael Perry, 46, from Essex, and Daniel Weidner, 47, from Hampshire, to fraudulently misallocate VAT payments to specified businesses.

The probe found that Arthur Lee, 55, from Essex - who was in relationship with Green - received details of unallocated payments from her and passed them to unqualified accountants Perry and Weidner.

They then used their clients' companies to claim the VAT payments for themselves.

Two men, along with Lee - Londoner Michael Myatt, 56, and Stephen Maish, 54, a semi-professional darts player from Wigan, Lancashire - allowed their identities and companies to be used as part of the fraud.

The investigation started when a legitimate claimant of an unallocated payment queried why their payment to HMRC had not credited its VAT account.

During the course of the enquiry a vigilant HMRC employee noticed that this payment had been misallocated and that a further three payments had also been misallocated to the same incorrect trader.

In all four instances the payments had been handled by Susanne Green.

Jeff Parsons, Assistant Director, Internal Governance Criminal Investigations, Fraud Investigation Services, HMRC, said: "As an HMRC employee Green was trusted with the sensitive information she was dealing with on a daily basis, but she abused her position and was pivotal to the theft.

Sentencing Green at Southwark Crown Court earlier this month, Her Honour Judge Joanna Korner said Green had demonstrated a "colossal breach of trust".

HMRC said Green had used the proceeds of her fraudulent activities to pay for a Toyota Rav4 car and for expensive holidays to Las Vegas.

Green, pleaded not guilty and was jailed for five years and six months.