Unqualified accountant found guilty of huge buy-to-let tax fraud

Unqualified accountant found guilty of huge buy-to-let tax fraud


A 70 year-old unqualified accountant has been sentenced to eight years in prison for masterminding a plot to steal £2.5 million in a buy-to-let tax fraud, alongside a crooked property developer. 

John Warman, from Nottingham, was convicted of 29 charges of cheating the taxman and obtaining money by deception, following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs.


Property developer, Simon Fields, pleaded guilty to one count of cheating the revenue of £329,000 through manipulating his business accounts. He is due to be sentenced in November.


The court heard that Mr Warman and Mr Fields conspired to understate the profits from Mr Fields’ property empire – consisting of his father’s portfolio of 300 residential homes, worth £25 million and 65 properties of his own, worth around £6 million.


Over a period of nine years Mr Warman stole £1.5 million that was due in tax by understating the amount Mr Fields received in rental payments and overstating interest paid on the buy-to-let loans and the amounts paid for repairs and renewals.


In addition, Mr Fields would make large cash withdrawals from bank accounts and claim that the money was for property repairs, supplying forged receipts and invoices for the alleged work.


However, Mr Warman acted alone in further manipulating the accounts, and stealing an extra £1 million for himself, which he hid from his co-conspirator.


The accountant, who drove a £165,000 Bentley Armage, was also found guilty of duping a firm of solicitors, a transport company and a farmer out of another £80,000.


On sentencing Mr Warman, Judge Hamilton said: “You were not a very good accountant, but a very good fraudster, manipulating people and finances to fund a very comfortable lifestyle for yourself - including a top of the range Bentley. You used your clients to feather your own nest. People trusted you and you breached that trust.”

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