This month Jason Taylor, leading Alec Small, has been defending in a £46 million VAT and Excise Duty fraud at the Old Bailey.
Their client, the director of a wine importation company, was accused of illegally importing millions of pounds worth of undeclared wine from Italy and selling it for cash; evading vast amounts of taxes and duties payable on the undeclared quantities in the process. In particular, their client was accused of being part of the ‘legitimate front’ presented by the company to HMRC to avoid detection.
The Albion team successfully established that others in the company had effectively forged their client’s signature; signing letters electronically in his name and keeping him entirely in the dark about the company’s alleged fraudulent activities.
Over four years after his initial arrest he has walked free, following Mr Taylor and Mr Small’s successful argument before HHJ Katz QC that there was no evidence of his having had any knowledge of what was going on and that their client had no case to answer.