Solicitor jailed over stamp duty and VAT fraud

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A DISGRACED lawyer who betrayed his clients in a stamp duty swindle has been jailed for 21 months.

Conveyancing solicitor Timothy Rogers ripped off seven home buyers who he had acted as solicitor for by failing to pass on stamp duty tax to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A court heard Rogers’ victims are still liable to pay the tax, worth a total of £49,860, and are being pursued for the money.

Rogers’ dishonesty came to light after the Land Registry contacted the clients to find out why they hadn’t paid their stamp duty.

Rogers then embarked on another HMRC deception in order to pay back the sum he owed. Rogers, 35, who had business premises on Basinghall Street, in Leeds city centre, lied about his business returns in a bid to claim back VAT. Rogers went from claiming quarterly business figures of £18,000 to £354,000 three months later.

The increased claim was made in order to make a VAT repayment request for £79,397. The court heard the offence was committed in an attempt to pay back the stamp duty to HMRC.

Rogers, of Sandringham Avenue, Knottingley, pleaded guilty to two offences of making a false statement with intent to defraud. Jason Macadam, mitigating, said Rogers set up his firm in 2008 and began committed the offence in 2010 when his business struggled.