Solicitor jailed for stamp duty sting

A solicitor from Leeds who attempted to pocket £133,000 by changing conveyancing documents and lying to his clients was jailed on the 20th November.

Timothy Thomas Rogers, 35, a conveyancing solicitor from Knottingley, owner of Rogers & Co Solicitors in Leeds, was caught by investigators from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after they discovered discrepancies in eight property sales where he had acted.

Investigators found that Rogers had altered legal documents to reduce the amount of Stamp Duty due on properties bought by his clients.

However he then charged them the full amount and simply pocketed the difference.

He submitted Land Registry documents showing the true purchase price for the properties in an attempt to cover up the fraud. Rogers submitted false VAT refund claims totalling more than £79,000 between April 2011 and June 2011.

He was caught out when he refused to hand over the paperwork needed to support his claims.

Jo Tyler, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC said: “As a solicitor, Timothy Rogers knew only too well what the consequences of his actions would be.

“To abuse the trust of clients and employees was a despicable act, trying to steal money that had been paid by them in good faith to meet their tax liabilities.”

Rogers was arrested and questioned by officers from HMRC and later charged with two counts of cheating the public revenue and was sentenced last Wednesday to 21 months in prison by Her Honour Judge Cahill at Leeds Crown Court.

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