Project Grasshopper

VAT Fraud


An investigation by HMRC established the company was part of a VAT carousel fraud

Background

The company involved in this investigation sold computer hardware in the UK that it had bought from overseas.

Issue

Following an investigation by HMRC, it was established that the company was part of a VAT carousel fraud.  As a result, they took enforcement action and requested an investigation into tracing assets of the company, the director and his associates.  

The director was UK-based, but regularly travelled abroad and it was believed that he held assets overseas.

Outcome

The investigations team profiled the director and his close associates, linking him to various properties in the UK.  A forensic examination of his email accounts developed a picture around their lifestyle, leading our investigators to assets in various countries: UK, USA, Bulgaria, Spain, Turkey and Taiwan.

The total value of the assets discovered to date have an estimated value of £15-20m.  Following the reveal, the Investigations team obtained a worldwide freezing order and forced disclosure of other assets.