The tax authority says that its Fraud Investigation Service brought in £5bn during the year through civil and criminal investigations, in line with previous years.
Convictions and probes covered every type of financial crime including tax avoidance schemes aimed at HNW individuals and fake investment scams.
Among the convictions were:
- 5 wealthy tax fraudsters who ran a fake eco-investment scheme were ordered to pay back £20m or face more time in jail
- 2 wealthy professionals who attempted to steal more than £60m through a fraudulent tax avoidance scheme which claimed to invest in HIV research and conservation
- A fugitive £17m tax fraudster who is behind bars after he was tracked down to his Prague hideaway and brought back to the UK to serve his 8-year sentence
- A former Top Gear mechanic was jailed for helping father and son tax cheats escape from the UK via ferry and Eurotunnel prior to sentencing for a £1m VAT fraud
- A charity treasurer who tried to steal more than £330,000 in a Gift Aid repayment fraud and spent the money on lavish cruise holidays
HMRC said: “The smashing of international criminal gangs, large money laundering seizures and fake investment schemes all feature in HM Revenue and Customs’ top criminal cases of 2019.”
HMRC also imposed a record £7.8m fine on a money transfer business in West London for breaching the money laundering regulations.
Simon York, director of the Fraud Investigation Service, said: “These prosecutions clearly show that we’ll relentlessly pursue those criminals who would try and cheat honest taxpayers by stealing money destined for vital public services.
“It means we’re increasingly taking on ever more complex frauds and well-resourced opponents, including tackling organised criminals who would otherwise undermine our economy and harm our communities.”