Fraudsters stole £245,000 from their employees

TWO directors of a recruitment agency stole more than £245,000 by pocketing their employees' tax and National Insurance Contributions (NICs).

Mahmud Hussain, 44, and Iftekhar Rehman, 28, both directors of One Stop Recruitment (Nationwide) Ltd, used the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system to deduct Income Tax and NICs from their employees' wages but instead of paying the money to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), they pocketed the cash.

An HMRC investigation into their tax affairs also revealed they hadn’t paid employer NICs or VAT, using the money to buoy up their business.

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Paul Barton, assistant director of HMRC's fraud investigation service, said: "Hussain and Rehman used their employees' tax and National Insurance to fund the business at their expense.

"In addition, Hussain and Rehman failed to pay the VAT that was owed, giving them an unfair advantage over their competitors and other honest businesses that pay what is due.

"This fraudulent behaviour is never acceptable and HMRC will work to bring to justice anyone involved in this type of criminality. If you have information about suspected fraud please contact our 24 hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Hussain, (44), of Masbrough Street, Rotherham, was jailed for 15 months and Rehman, (28), of Fullbridge Road, Peterborough, was given 41 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, as well 300 hours of unpaid work.

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Hussain and Rehman, who traded as One Stop Recruitment (Nationwide) Limited, provided factory workers and labourers for seasonal work at Peterborough Crown Court on Friday, January 8.

Hussain was disqualified from acting as a director for six years and Rehman was banned from doing the same for two years.

The pair, who based their business in Whittlesey in Peterborough, were caught after HMRC officers visited their premises to inspect business records.

The officers found payroll details for 150 employees, who wrongly thought that their tax and NICs totalling £127,033 had been paid to HMRC. Further investigations also found that £118,311 was owed in unpaid VAT.

HMRC said confiscation will be sought to recover the proceeds of their crime.