Financier jailed for 12 and a half years for fraud

Financier Ian Andrew Leaf was jailed today for 12 and a half years at Southwark Crown Court for fraudulent trading.

It follows an eight year investigation by HM Revenue & Customs.

The 76m fraud centred on a company purchase scheme, which involved Leaf buying 13 UK subsidiary companies that were subject to UK tax.

Once Leaf acquired the companies they were used solely for fraudulent purposes. He was convicted of 13 charges of fraudulent trading on November 21 2005. Confiscation proceedings will follow.

Dave Hartnett, director general of HMRC, who is responsible for compliance strategy, says: “This has been a long and complicated investigation but one which shows our determination to track down criminals who defraud the UK taxpayer. Leaf believed that by leaving the UK he could escape justice but he was wrong.

“We will seek to bring to justice anyone who sets out to line their own pockets at the expense of honest taxpayers. This was a multi million pound crime and the sentence reflects the seriousness of his offences.”

This case was successfully prosecuted by the Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office, an independent prosecuting authority which reports to the Attorney General, and is responsible for the prosecution of all HMRC cases.