More 'tax-dodgers' added to most wanted list – but only one of last year's 20 has been caught
Ten new names added as HMRC renews appeal on 19 suspects wanted for variety of tax offences
Ten new alleged tax-dodgers have been added to the Government's most-wanted list, although just one suspect from the original list has been caught.
Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) published the names and pictures of 20 people accused of fleeing the country while owing millions in some instances for the first time in 2012.
The images features pictures of each of the accused's faces, accompanied by "Wanted".
According to HMRC, the appeal helped gather intelligence on 15 of the alleged offenders and contributed to the arrest of one. But despite the intelligence received, no others on the list have been caught.
A second man not included in the original 20 but later added onto it has also been caught in the last 12 months, the department said.
HMRC has now renewed its appeals on 19 of the suspects while adding 10 new names of people wanted in connection with offences including VAT fraud, tax evasion and money laundering.
The new people listed have cost the taxpayer between £120,000 and £10 million, HMRC claims.
Chancellor George Osborne said the new list will help bring more “tax fraudsters” to justice.
But Labour described the most-wanted list as a “huge failure” with so many suspects yet to be caught.
The new list includes Michael George Voudouri, who pleaded guilty at Glasgow High Court in relation to money laundering linked to VAT fraud but failed to appear for sentencing.
HMRC said the man, aged between 40 and 50, is believed to be residing in northern Cyprus and is estimated to have cost taxpayers £10 million.
Anish Anand, aged between 25 and 35, is also included after failing to appear at Croydon Crown Court in April 2013 in relation to £6 million VAT and film tax credit fraud.
Anand was convicted in his absence last month and is thought to be in the UK.
Michael “Arthur” Fearon was also on the who was charged in connection with evasion of excise duty on nearly 8.4 million Benson & Hedges cigarettes, according to HMRC.
He is also wanted by the UK Border Agency in connection with money laundering offences and by Republic of Ireland police for driving offences.
HMRC said he crossed over the border into Northern Ireland driving a Black Mercedes C200 CDI Sport. The department estimates Fearon, who they believe is evading capture in the Republic of Ireland, has cost taxpayers £2 million.
Mr Osborne said the Government's ha stepped up enforcement activities to enable them to pursue tax cheats around the world.
“The publication of HMRC's Most Wanted has already helped catch two people wanted for tax fraud. This new list will help put more tax fraudsters in the spotlight and bring them to justice,” he added.
But shadow Treasury minister Catherine McKinnell said: “One year on, it's a huge failure that 18 of the 20 most wanted tax fraudsters have still not been caught.
“At a time when families are facing a cost of living crisis, it's even more important that everyone pays their fair share of tax. The Government needs to do better.”
The two men caught since the most-wanted list first emerged are John Nugent, 53, and Anthony Judge, aged between 35 and 45.
HMRC said Nugent fraudulently claimed more than £22 million in duty and VAT reclaims.
The Crown Prosecution Service announced on 31 May that Nugent had been jailed for four and a half years for an £11 million fraud.
Judge was wanted for his role in arranging financial crimes totaling more than £350,000, HMRC said. He failed to appear at Canterbury Crown Court in 2003 to answer charges relating to money laundering and had not been seen since.
HMRC said Judge was caught at Heathrow Airport on July 4 while travelling on a false passport and has since pleaded guilty.
Additional reporting by PA
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