A man and woman who fraudulently tried to claim almost £145,000 in Gift Aid have each been jailed for two years following an investigation by HMRC, reports Harris & Co accountancy services.
Raymond Agbo, 42, and Akua Owusu, 26, from Enfield, London claimed that fictitious UK taxpayers had donated to the Church of Grace Ministries UK.
The two ran Mondvi & Co Ltd, a financial services company, through which they processed a Gift Aid repayment claim for £144,800 on behalf of the church. To support the claim they provided false documentation which included the names and addresses of donors who did not exist.
David Margree, assistant director, criminal investigation for HMRC, said:’Agbo and Owusu had the financial knowledge to make a determined attempt to steal from honest people. They submitted the false claim knowing that it was an abuse of a scheme designed to help charities in need.’
The judge at the Old Bailey trial of the pair described the fraud as deliberate and said neither had shown an ‘iota of remorse’ for what they had done. As well as a two-year jail sentence, each was disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act for five years.