The two men that conned HMRC out of £5m after claiming tax breaks on false charity donations, have been jailed. John Davies and his son Benjamin organised repayments through the Sompan and Kurbet foundations. These charities provide relief for women and children in poverty, with the Kurbet foundation focussing on looking after migrants. Davies and his son were claiming back tax relief by notifying HMRC of donations that didn’t exist, and eventually managed to con them out of £5m, £3.3 million for Sompan and £1.7 million for Kurbet, between March 2007 and January 2014. A third man, Olsi Vullnetari, a trustee of the Sompan foundation, has been recently named in the investigation and has earned seven years in jail. John Davies, a fellow trustee and his son split a 15 year sentence, with John getting 12 years, and his on Benjamin 3.
The money made from the false tax claims was reportedly sent to 15 different countries including Ireland and the United Arab Emirates, with almost half of the money supposedly from Sompan donations sent to Hungary. The Davies’ have a holiday home in Balastya Hungary, with a significant part of the money being sent to the Tosk foundation, set up by John, this ‘charity’ received about £1.6m in payment according to HMRC.
The charities Sompan foundation and Kurbet foundation are based in Kingston-Upon-Thames, but on further discovery it was found that no accounts from the had been registered with the charity commission since 2012. It is thought that upon the death of the owner of the two charities, Vullnetari and Davies began submitting false gift aid claims. When HMRC revealed the claims were fake, and had no evidence of any real paperwork, it was discovered that some of the claims were under the names of real people, even some that were dead. It is with great relief that the fraudsters have been caught out before they continued to steal from public services and other charities. HMRC has even confirmed it was able to recover £848, 000 from the bank account of the Kurbet foundation and prevented losing a further £175, 350 to Sompan.