Millions lost through VAT ‘scam’

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A MULTI-million pound VAT scam was masterminded by a seven-strong gang including a man from Sheffield, a court heard.

Sandeep Harry, aged 27, of Middlewood Drive, Middlewood, is accused of being one of a group who raked in millions in a ‘carbon trading’ fraud.

The gang is alleged to have exploited VAT laws by buying carbon credits – certificates representing a reduction in greenhouse gases – and setting up a string of sham companies to sell them between.

VAT was added on for each transaction, but the cash was never handed to the Exchequer. The credits were eventually sold on to legitimate companies including BP, Southwark Crown Court was told.

The ‘organised and systematic’ scam, during 2008 and 2009, is said to have snared vast sums from the Government, which were then laundered through a complex overseas banking operation.

Other members of the alleged gang come from Slough, Kensington, Hounslow, Kent and Middlesex. Harry and his co-accused deny conspiracy to cheat the public revenue. The trial continues.