A London mortgage broker who lied about his company’s profits to evade £115,000 in corporation tax has been found guilty of tax and mortgage fraud.
HMRC found that Asim Hussain, a director of Lifestyle Mortgages (Middlesex), had diverted company income into other bank accounts to reduce the profits of his company and pay less tax.
Hussain then used the money to finance a property in Dubai, overpay on his mortgage and buy land for investment.
Further, Hussain was struck off as a mortgage broker and banned from the financial services industry for fraudulent mortgage applications. He was referred to HMRC and the Metropolitan Police Service by the predecessor of the FCA, the Financial Services Authority, when he was trading as Lifestyle Mortgages (Ealing). The FSA became suspicious when a lender flagged up discrepancies in relation to mortgage applications, which were based on false and misleading information.
Hussain was found guilty of falsifying mortgage applicants’ income and employment details and pleaded guilty to cheating HMRC.
He was sentenced to two years in prison, suspended for two years, at Southwark Crown Court. He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service.
HMRC are pursuing the £115,000 of corporation tax. Confiscation proceedings have started by the MPS to recover criminal profits.
HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation Gary Forbes says: “Hussain seemed to believe he could act above the law and that by simply moving money between bank accounts he would stay off HMRCs radar. Instead, he has learned the hard way that crime does not pay – he now has a criminal record and his reputation and career are in tatters.
“What Hussain did was illegal and immoral he used the money that should have gone back into funding some of the UKs most vital public services to invest in his property and enjoy a lifestyle most honest taxpayers can only dream of.”
FCA acting director of enforcement and market oversight Georgina Philippou says: “This is a very serious offence and this sentencing demonstrates that any attempt to abuse the system will not be taken lightly. It is an excellent example of the authorities working together to tackle an individual who put lenders and consumers at risk.”