A heartless conman has been jailed for more than a decade after scamming £5 million from the taxman – while running a CHARITY.
John Davies, 58, raked in millions of pounds by submitting tens of thousands of fake charity Gift Aid donation forms to HMRC and pocketing the cash.
Davies, alongside accomplice Olsi Vullnetari, 37, claimed they were trustees and associates of two charities, the Sompan Foundation and the Kurbet Foundation.
The charities had been legitimately set up to support women and children in crisis and poverty, but crooked Davies took over when the founder died, and turned the charity into a money-making goldmine.
From 2007 to 2012, Davies, of Esher, Surrey, and Vullnetari, of Oxford, Oxon., made tens of thousands of Gift Air repayment claims based on completely fake donations – including using dead people’s names on the dodgy forms.
David Margree, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “These fraudsters despicably extorted £5 million from honest British taxpayers.
“Gift Aid is in place to support legitimate charities and offer extra funding, not for the financial benefit of criminals who abuse the system.
“HMRC and our partner, the Crown Prosecution Service, have brought to justice these fraudsters who, had they not been stopped, would have continued to rob public services and genuine charities of a great deal more.
“HMRC has already seized more than £848,000 from these tax cheats and we will look to recover further criminal profits.”
The scam was orchestrated by Davies, who registered the charities were paid more than £5 million.
They produced false paperwork to support the Gift Aid claims and the proceeds of the fraud were then laundered through various bank accounts – before being sent back to their home country of Hungary.
The Tosk Foundation, whose headquarters are located near the Davies family home in Balastya, Hungary, received around £1.6 million in payments.
The men were arrested between May 2013 and June 2015, and later charged with cheating the public revenue and money laundering.
Davies and Vullnetari were later found guilty of all charges on 8 April 2016.
Mastermind Davies received 12 years, while Vullnetari was jailed for seven years at Southwark Crown Court on Friday.
Davies‘ son Ben Davis was also jailed, for three years, for associated money laundering.