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Property developer's jail sentence for £640,000 fraud

25 April 2017

An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has led to a jail sentence for a former property developer convicted of committing fraud and evading VAT.

Keith Conner, 55, of Ascot, Berkshire, was found to have hijacked the details of an offshore company in the British Virgin Islands and another in the UK, then forged documents to commit his crimes.

He illegally used the details of other companies to buy and sell one commercial and one residential property, said HMRC.

After selling the residential building in June 2011, in Thurloe Square, Kensington, London, Mr Conner forged a Power of Attorney document in the name of a Malaysian businessman to transfer the £309,000 profit into his company bank account.

The commercial building in Earls Court Road, London, was bought and immediately sold in October 2011 after Mr Conner hijacked the details of a UK business.

HMRC investigations showed that signatures had been forged on the contracts and £331,000 of profit had been paid into another of Mr Conner's accounts.

Neither of the businesses whose details were hijacked had any knowledge of the illegal deals.

In addition to failing to pay £150,000 in VAT, Mr Conner was also found to have used forged 'proof of funds' letters and was additionally trading while disqualified as a company director.

He pleaded guilty to five offences and was jailed for three years and seven months at Reading Crown Court on 21 April 2017.

Mr Conner was also disqualified from being a company director for seven years.

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