CHRISTMAS is a time of giving, but an Eastcote businessman accused of using the goodwill of others to steal millions is spending the holiday season nervously awaiting judgment.
Roy Faichney, 53, of Barnhill, is one of three remaining defendants charged with defrauding the taxpayer out of £4.55million in a five-year Gift Aid scam.
A 10-week trial at Blackfriars Crown Court is set to conclude in the new year, after both sides gave their closing arguments a few days before Christmas.
Faichney’s wife, Shirley, 53, has been acquitted after the judge ruled there was not enough evidence to convict her of complicity in the alleged scam.
David Perrin, 46, of Luton, and Vikash Kulkar, 57, of Twickenham, are accused along with Faichney of defrauding Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by ‘dishonestly submitting and facilitating claims for tax relief which falsely stated the values of charity donations’.
Faichney was managing director of the tax division at stock market accountancy firm Vantis during the period when the fraud was alleged to have taken place, from April 2004 to March 2009.
Philip Singer, prosecuting, told the court on Tuesday, December 13: “Mr Faichney was aware of the situation and had a direct financial interest in the company. His wife had already received £1,135,000 and £1,055,050.
“The false paper trail is a persistent feature. The sort of money washing around in this case is a powerful motivation and a clean record is never an immunity against temptation.
"There is evidence throughout of a devious and dishonest approach. Their whole proposition that there would have been negotiations with the Revenue do not stand up to the light of day.
“Did this become a dishonest enterprise which was born of a greedy desire for personal and commercial profit? I suggest so.”
The alleged fraud encompassed donations from shares bought in Clerkenwell Medical Research (CMR), Modia, Your Health International and Signet Health International.
Gift Aid was set up by the previous Labour government as a way for charities to recoup tax from charitable contributions.
Defending Mr Faichney, Nicholas Purnell QC said: “Not a single penny that came into the pockets of Mr Faichney has had anything to do with money in any way due to the Revenue or taxable money.
“It has perhaps been lost that all these monies arose from the subscription for shares in CMR, and had nothing at all to do with gifts to charity and tax claims.
“The prosecution can say that was the first step of the arrangements being sold to their clients to make a claim to HMRC, but the money which came in was truly paid in proper consideration for the object that was paid by account of those subscribers. We have lost sight of the source of this money because of the different routes it has taken thought subsequent companies."
The case continues.