08.09.09 Accountant jailed for eight years for tax fraud

08.09.09 Accountant jailed for eight years for tax fraud

John Warman who holds no qualifications to be an accountant, operated a sole practitioner practice dealing with the affairs of a number of clients. He conspired to steal £2.5m from HMRC was told by the Judge that he lived in a ‘fantasy world’ as he jailed him for eight years. John Warman drove a £165,000 Bentley Arnage and led a lifestyle of the pretence that he had substantial capital in the bank.

Judge Andrew Hamilton sentenced 70-year-old Warman, of West Bridgford, at Derby Crown Court. He told Warman, who was a self-employed accountant, that he was simply interested in using his clients to feather his own nest.

He said: “You cleverly manipulated the finances of clients in such a way that you provided yourself with a very comfortable lifestyle and could not possibly have afforded the running costs of the Bentley on his income. You ran it because you lived in this fantasy world. You took in everybody you ever dealt with.”

John Warman connived with his client, Simon Fields, who was a property tycoon to manipulate his tax returns to evade paying tax and then to pocket the proceeds.

Simon Fields, 34, of Trowell Road, Wollaton, pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the public finances to the tune of £392,000 by manipulating his business accounts. He was found guilty of one charge of conspiracy to ‘cheat the revenue’.

Warman was found guilty of that same charge and a further 28 others which 14 of them were for ‘cheating the Revenue’ and 14 further offences of obtaining money by deception. Both defendants had conspired to understate the profits from Fields’ property empire, and that of his father, Roger Fields, which John  Warman also managed the tax affairs of through his practice, stealing a further £1.5m due in tax revenues.

False accounts had been prepared showing a “reduced income” and an “increased expenditure” by understating the amount received for renting out the properties, and then overstating the interest paid on loans and the amount paid for repairs and renewals. These false statements were then submitted to HM Revenue & Customs, lying about the level of profit that had been made over a eight-year period from April, 1996, to April, 2004.

Warman had also acted alone in manipulating the accounts for a second time, stealing more than £1m by further corrupting the business accounts of Roger Fields. He also stole £80,000 from three other Nottingham businesses; a farmer, a firm of solicitors and a transport company.

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