Investigators uncovered a large and complex web of illegal activity involving more than 100 businesses. Subcontractors were employed ‘off-record’ and the gang members pocketed Income Tax and National Insurance contributions due to be paid to HMRC.
Fake invoices, supposedly for providing labour, had also been created to claim VAT refunds to which the gang were not entitled. HMRC investigators carried out searches at more than 40 residential and business premises across the UK in September 2009.
They seized paperwork, computers, class A drugs and almost £170,000 in cash from 11 business properties in the West Midlands and Manchester. Smaller quantities of US dollars and Euros were also discovered.