Singh filed 52 fraudulent returns to HMRC
Manpreet Singh, aged 50, of Hounslow, was jailed for three years and four months after it was found he stole £380,000 in stamp duty payments.
He was the former owner of Reemans Solicitors in Hounslow.
An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs found that Singh repeatedly falsified documents and submitted incorrect information to HMRC.
He did this in order to reduce the amount of stamp duty owed.
Meanwhile, he charged his clients the full correct amount and kept the difference for himself.
In total, Singh filed 52 fraudulent returns to HMRC between November 2010 and July 2015.
An HMRC investigation was subsequently launched.
However, Singh continued to submit false documents in a bid to cover up his wrongdoing.
On July 6, 2021, at Isleworth Crown Court, Singh admitted to cheating the public revenue.
He was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
Linda Hamilton, deputy director, fraud investigation service at HMRC, said:
“This was a deliberate and sustained attack on the tax system.”
“Singh worked in a position of trust and thought it was acceptable to con his clients and steal taxpayers’ money which should be used to fund our vital public services.
“HMRC will continue to pursue the small minority, like Singh, who think fraud is an acceptable way to do business.”
In August 2020, Mr Singh was struck off by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority.
He was also disqualified from being a company director for six years.
He has repaid approximately £253,000 of the stolen stamp duty. Proceedings are ongoing in order to recover the remaining amount.
In a previous case of fraud involving solicitors, two men from Loughborough were jailed after they tried to sell £3 million worth of properties.
That was despite them not owning them and that the real owners had not listed them for sale.
Hashok Parmar and Syed Gous Ali used the cover of Sterling Law Solicitors to launch an attempt to sell three London properties.
The pair used bogus documents to attempt to carry out three sales. If they were successful, they would have made around £3 million.
They were frustrated when other law firms saw through the deception.
They were operating a ‘property take-over fraud’, whereby ownership deeds or titles are changed fraudulently and a new name put on them.
Suspicions arose in 2015 when officers received a report from a solicitor’s firm on behalf of a client who believed he had purchased a house in London.
Both men were arrested and subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit frauds to the value of more than £3 million and money laundering to the value of £240,000.
Ali, aged 46, pleaded guilty to the two offences.
Parmar, aged 63, was found guilty of the charges following a trial.
On June 1, 2020, at Leicester Crown Court, Ali and Parmar were each jailed for six years.