Founder of fraud investigations firm jailed in tax rebate fraud
The founder and former director of a fraud investigations firm, who has worked with the likes of ERS and the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB), has been jailed after being found guilty of fraud.
Rod Bond, along with Lee Palmer, Simon Hill and Simon Osborne, has been sentenced after submitting false tax returns to HMRC and claiming over £2m in tax rebates.
The tax relief scheme was called Formula One Limited Liability Partnership and it was said to be set up to acquire and develop film projects.
To benefit from the tax relief, members needed to spend 10 hours a week working on the partnership. If the partnership made a loss, the members would be able to claim a share of its losses against their own income.
Alex White, from the CPS, said: “Tax rebates were available for genuine schemes that sought to be successful. Instead, these men took advantage of this as part of a scheme to claim more than £2million from HMRC.
“Simon Osborne was a financial advisor to two investors and played a key role in submitting false documents on his clients’ behalf. Lee Palmer, Simon Hill and Rod Bond took advantage of the scheme, knowing its true purpose.
“The CPS showed that these documents, including diaries, were wholly false and had been fabricated using a computer programme. Those submitted to HMRC were deliberately misleading and designed to dishonestly obtain tax advantages.”
Osborne, Bond and Palmer were sentenced to two years and eight months in prison. Hill received 20 months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
Bond founded investigations company, Ravenstone in 1991, but left in 2009. It offers fraud investigation services as well as many other reports.
Specialty motor insurer, ERS admitted to previously working with Ravenstone, but that there hadn’t been any relationship between the two for a while.
A spokesperson for ERS said: “We have not used Ravenstone since mid-2016 when we put the business out to tender as part of a normal tender process. Another provider was successful in winning that tender.”
A spokesperson for the MIB also stated that the company hadn’t worked with Ravenstone since 2014 after finding other arrangements and sticking with those.
Ravenstone has released a statement relating to Bond’s conviction.
It said: “Ravenstone UK is aware of the recent conviction of Rod Bond in relation to a personal investment he made in 2007, on professional advice, in a film scheme. This arrangement was subsequently challenged by HMRC. Many hundreds of people invested in similar schemes`. We understand the money was repaid with interest some years ago and Mr Bond’s legal team say they are currently considering an appeal.
”Rod Bond stepped down as director of Ravenstone UK some years ago and no longer works for the company.”