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United Kingdom: Illegal Immigrant Jailed for £500,000 Tax Fraud

(Aug. 16, 2010) Dmytro Shepel, an illegal immigrant originally from Ukraine but living in the United Kingdom under a false Lithuanian identity and passport, has recently been sentenced to imprisonment for three and a half years for tax fraud. Shepel registered 350 fictitious people under the tax assessment system and then, over a two-year period, used some of these identities to fraudulently claim tax rebates that were paid into one of 74 bank accounts that he had opened using these and other false identities. He received nearly £560,000 (about US$875,000), having filed for almost £650,000 (about US$1 million).

Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs investigated these claims and stated: “we have processes in place to detect and counter fraudulent repayments claims. These are kept under constant review to ensure we are able to deal effectively with ever evolving threats.” Shepel was convicted of “cheating the public revenue and possessing an identity document that was false.” He will be deported upon his release. (HM Revenue & Customs, Fraudster Jailed for £500,000 Tax Fraud News Distribution Service for Government and the Private Sector website (Aug. 4, 2010),