Munir Hussain “faked a letter from his suppliers” detailing sales and purchases to strengthen his defence, after lying about supply costs in a bid to dodge the tax, said Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Hussain – owner of Birmingham-based AK Halal Meat Centre – was sentenced to two years imprisonment on March 22, with the possibility of an extra 12 months if the stolen £80,310 was not repaid within three months. The sentencing came after Hussain pleaded guilty to the offences at Birmingham Crown Court on February 22.
‘Fake letter from his suppliers’
HMRC fraud investigation service assistant director Paul Fisher said: “Hussain was deliberate in committing this tax fraud, going as far as providing a fake letter from his suppliers. He thought he could hide his fraud, but HMRC is determined to clamp down on tax crime.
“Hussain thought he had covered his tracks, but he was wrong and is now paying the price behind bars. He also has to repay the money he stole or spend more time in prison.”
The butcher committed the fraud between April 2008 and March 2011, HMRC said. Hussain used the cash for living expenses, as well as mortgage payments on his three properties.
Affected by fraud
The butcher’s imprisonment came after it was revealed in January that up to 89% of global manufacturing businesses – including food and drink manufacturers – have been affected by fraud in the past 12 months.
Analyst Kroll said manufacturing fraud was 7% higher than the global average, and was 7% higher than in 2015, according to its Global Fraud and Risk Report 2017.
Meanwhile, Tesco Stores Ltd agreed to pay £129M after overstating its profits in 2014. The retailer reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the Serious Fraud Office, it was revealed on March 29.
Butcher jailed for tax fraud – at a glance
- Munir Hussain jailed for two years
- More than £80,000 in unpaid tax
- Faces further 12 months in jail if tax not paid within three months