In London, UK, an Indian-origin fashion designer has been jailed for five years after being found guilty of attempting to steal one million pounds in tax fraud. According to reports Sheel Khemka, 42, had set up 12 companies and used them to front his scam. He had claimed to be a designer to the stars, appearing in a feature in 'Vogue' magazine for his Lofli range of jeans.
In the, meanwhile, the UK's HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) got suspicious of his trading activity, involving unpaid bills and VAT claims. Mr Khemka had not only imported jeans worth 24,000 pounds from the US, which he passed around between 12 companies using false names but also raised invoices to claim he was selling millions of pounds worth of designer garments in order to claim back the VAT.
Judge Nicholas Ainley at Croydon Crown Court said while passing the verdict, "The scheme was dishonest from the start. I have severe doubts if jeans existed at all and you set up companies using the hijacked identities of friends. This was a sophisticated and well-planned fraud from which you used a lot of money on yourself - 200,000 pounds to buy a house".
Mr Khemka was sentenced to five years in prison and also banned from operating as a company director for seven years and the fraudulently obtained money has been paid back.