A former Barclays high street banker and an illegal immigrant have been jailed for a £3.2 million self assessment tax fraud.
Nikola Novakovic, a former local business manager at Barclays in London was jailed for three years and three months while Ukrainian national Oleg Rozputnii received a three year and nine month sentence after both pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue
According to HM Revenue & Customs, the pair registered over 1050 fictitious taxpayers on the Income Tax Self Assessment system. They then swindled tax repayments using more than 200 false bank accounts to steal £3.2 million between January 2008 and September 2010.
The money was withdrawn from cash machines or transferred through a web of linked accounts set up by the fraudsters. Rozputnii used numerous false identities to help commit the fraud and conceal his involvement, transferring some of the money back to the Ukraine.
Upon sentencing, Mr Recorder Singh QC said: "This was a sophisticated and orchestrated fraud", adding that Novakovic "had abused his position with the bank."
Joe Rawbone, assistant director, HMRC criminal investigation, says: "These men ran an audacious scam stealing millions of pounds. They set up hundreds of false bank accounts using viruses to hack into personal computers to gain information. They used their illegal profits to fund lavish lifestyles buying performance cars, including Porches, Mercedes and Jaguars."
An accomplice, Dmytro Shepel, was jailed for three and a half years in August 2010, for his part in the fraud.