HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has revealed that bookkeeper Veekshit Ramoo was sentenced to seven years in prison for £2.1m of fraudulent VAT repayment claims and money laundering offences.
Ramoo was arrested in May 2019 for submitting claims through his book-keeping company Ramoo Associates UK Ltd, for VAT payments to suppliers that were never made.
Some of the money was used to pay off a £131,000 mortgage held by his wife’s parents, whilst more than £650,000 of the stolen money was spent on long haul holidays and luxurious cars.
HMRC officers uncovered the fraud when the claims were checked.
Analysis of individual and business bank accounts showed that he had spent the money on jewellery, private hospital treatment, shopping trips to Harrods, fireworks, nightclubs and event tickets.
He also spent £411,000 on luxurious cars, £149,000 on flights and more than £112,000 on foreign exchange.
Ramoo was found guilty of cheating the public revenue and two counts of converting criminal property at Southwark Crown Court on 2 July 2021.
Richard Wilkinson, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: “Veekshit Ramoo used taxpayers’ cash as a piggy bank to indulge his lavish lifestyle, love of fast cars and expensive holidays, but he came unstuck after investigators uncovered his lies.
“Our actions do not stop at conviction. We will now seek to recover the stolen money.”