Manpreet Singh, the former owner of West London law firm Reemans Solicitors, has been jailed for more than three years for stealing £380,000 in stamp duty.
Singh, formerly Munpreet Singh Virdee, was the owner and director of Reemans Solicitors Ltd and would pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on behalf of clients buying property.
However, an investigation revealed the 50-year-old repeatedly falsified documents and submitted incorrect information to HMRC to reduce the amount of stamp duty due.
He charged his clients the full correct amount and pocketed the difference.
In total, Singh filed 52 fraudulent SDLT returns to HMRC between November 2010 and July 2015.
He continued to submit false documentation to try and cover up his wrongdoing when HMRC started looking into his tax affairs.
Linda Hamilton, deputy director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: “This was a deliberate and sustained attack on the tax system. Singh worked in a position of trust and thought it was acceptable to con his clients and steal taxpayers’ money which should be used to fund our vital public services.
“HMRC will continue to pursue the small minority, like Singh, who think fraud is an acceptable way to do business. We urge anyone with information about tax fraud to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Singh admitted Cheating the Public Revenue at Isleworth Crown Court on 6 July 2021 and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
To date, he has repaid around £253,000 of the stolen SDLT and proceedings are ongoing to recover the remaining amount.
Singh was struck off by the Solicitors Regulation Authority after a Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal in August 2020.