News Business Crime & Financial Services 29th May 2019

Mark Graffius and Nikita McNeill Appear in Complex MTIC Alchohol Fraud

Mark Graffius and Nikita McNeill defended the director of Golden Harvest, a wholesale alcohol supplier who was alleged to have acted as a “buffer company” in order to facilitate a complex MTIC fraud involving 13 defendants.

The prosecution followed a large scale HMRC investigation, including covert surveillance and concealed cameras installed within the organisation’s “hub”. HMRC estimated the total loss to the revenue as over £34 million.

Unusually, the prosecution stated that the missing traders involved, and by extension the defendants, had not actually been involved in the importation of any real alcohol but in the supply of wholly fictitious invoices to others smuggling alcohol. As a result, the case involved the detailed consideration of European VAT Directive and the UK’s harmonising legislation to establish when a VAT liability arises and whether there could be a cheat to the revenue in those circumstances.

Mark and Nikita were instructed by Tajinder Barring of David Phillips and Partners.

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