Sin Bin: Businessman to pay £240k over VAT fraud

A 42-year old Scottish businessman who ran a multi-million pound VAT fraud scheme out of his Dundee bedroom has been ordered to pay £240,000 to prosecutors.

Shahid Ramzam’s legal team agreed he evaded VAT payments of £5,661,839 between October 2002 and July 2004, and the High Court in Edinburgh has ordered him to pay £240,000 within six months.

Ramzan began trading from the bedroom of his Broughty Ferry home with only a telephone, a computer and a fax machine before building up a global financial network. Prosecutors claimed his international dealing was a cover for his real business, exploiting loopholes in VAT regulations.

The complex VAT fraud scheme saw Ramzam use front companies set up in Spain to export his money out of Scotland.

His appeal against the conviction failed earlier this year when his case was rejected at the Court of Criminal Appeal in Edinburgh.

Though Ramzam was also found guilty of transferring or hiding criminal property of £20,610,213, the court agreed that he should pay £240,000 as this was all he has available in actual assets.

The confiscation order was one of three made at the High Court in Edinburgh yesterday.

Lindsey Miller, head of the Serious and Organised Crime Division (SOCD), said: “The Crown is committed to recovering proceeds of crime wherever possible and today’s cases demonstrate that continued commitment.

“Today we have the opportunity to recover over £344,224 from individuals involved in significant criminality in Scotland, which represents the amount which is available to us at this time.

“It is important to note that if any other cash or assets come to light in the future the Crown can ask the court to recalculate the confiscation order up to the total amount of the benefit recorded.”

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