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Accountant Jailed and Then Banned by FCA

Not a week goes by without stories of accountants getting themselves into trouble, both inside and outside the office.

This week it is the turn of a former high powered accountant who did the books for some pretty well known and famous clients.

Unfortunately, this particular accountant was caught with his hand in the cookie jar, so to speak, and this led to an appearance in front of a courtroom full of his peers and a judge (with hammer firmly in hand).

It was all to do with a “film tax scheme,” something I’ve reported about before of course. Anyway, the judge slammed down his or her trusty hammer and with a few short words sentenced the accountant to 8 years behind bars at HMP Highpoint in Suffolk.

You might think that would be enough punishment for the accountant, having to do 8 years of “hard time” at her majesty’s service, but some people are not done with him yet.

While the accountant is folding laundry and doing press-ups in Suffolk, a team at FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) headquarters have decided to rub even more salt in his wounds…by banning the accountant from doing anything related to accounting once he gets out of the slammer.

In other words, don’t expect to see this particular accountant listed on our website anytime soon, because as you are no doubt aware, we only list TRUSTED accountants on ContractorAccountants.com.

That’s right. If an accountant is sitting in a jail cell or is currently banned by the FCA then you can be rest assured they will NOT be listed here on this website.

We only feature accountants who conduct their business in a legit way, so you can feel safe in hiring them to do your books…typically for less than £100 a month.

Back to the story, and things didn’t get any better for the accountant in prison. Not only did the FCA shun him, but a confiscation order was also made against him, to the tune of £1.8 million quid.

Apparently this accountant had been living the high life before his prison days, sunning himself on a yacht in Monaco and rubbing shoulders with Hollywood stars such as George Clooney in pre production meetings for movies such as “Three Kings.”

Many wealthy investors jumped onboard and happily invested in some of these blockbuster movies, safe in the knowledge that any “losses” made would be secured against tax relief.

One of the film companies which the accountant was involved in spent a cool £5.7 million and made significant losses on 2 British films…a move which alerted HMRC to investigate further.

The trail soon led to a series of discoveries by HMRC, such as suspicious tax rebate claims, fake invoices, and bogus diary entries, and of course, this was all the HMRC needed to take the accountant to court.

How can you, the hard working contractor avoid these dodgy accountants? My advice is to only do business with the accountants you see listed immediately to your right, at the side of the page.

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