Reward Strategy



Payroll fraudsters ordered to pay back £3.5m

Two Kent men who funded lavish lifestyles by payroll fraud have been ordered to pay back more than £3.5m within three months, or serve longer prison terms and still owe the money.

Twitter LinkedIn

Aquil Ahmed, 61, an accountant, and co-conspirator Victor Shearer, 44, a construction services company director, both from Kent, were jailed in October 2016. They were part of a conspiracy that defrauded HMRC of £6.9m in VAT, income tax, National Insurance contributions and Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) deductions through fraudulent payroll schemes.


Ahmed’s accountancy businesses ran the payroll for Shearer’s company, Leaner Logistics Limited. Shearer introduced other clients to the payroll company and use of the fraudulent scheme. Workers believed their taxes were being paid to HMRC, but instead they were lining the men’s pockets.


The pair face selling their assets to pay back a total of £3,578,999.33 after confiscation hearings at Maidstone Crown Court. Ahmed must repay £2.9m within three months, or face a further five years in jail and still have to pay up. Shearer must pay back £646,000 within three months, or face a further three years in jail and still owe the money.


Nicol Sheppard, assistant director of HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said: “We do everything we can to stop criminals profiting from their crimes and to recover the money to fund the public purse. Ahmed and Shearer stole millions of pounds from the UK economy, using numerous UK and offshore companies to hide their fraud. They were driven by greed, abusing systems that are designed to ensure workers are paid correctly and taxes paid to HMRC.


“They are still serving their prison sentences and if they fail to comply with these orders they will spend even more time behind bars – and still owe the money.”


In June 2016 Ahmed admitted conspiracy to cheat the public revenue. He was jailed for seven years and eight months in October 2016, and disqualified from being a company director for ten years. In July 2016 Shearer was convicted of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and money laundering. He was jailed for seven years and six months, and disqualified from being a company director for ten years.


During his trial the court heard Shearer laundered £1.2m through a Gibraltar bank account and spent money on property and high-living including ski-holidays, cars and treating friends, family and clients. Ahmed owned a Bentley, bought properties in the UK, USA and Turkey, and took multiple foreign holidays including trips to Dubai and the Monaco Grand Prix.


The men’s criminal benefit is more than the assets currently available. HMRC can pursue any future wealth to cover the full criminal benefit.

Twitter LinkedIn
Add New Comment

You might also like

The Reward 100 is evolving to the Reward 300

It’s time for The Reward 100, an index of the industry’s most important influencers and decision-makers, to become The Reward 300 and entries are now open for nominations

What are the real costs of payroll processes?

Tell us about your payroll processes for your chance to win a £200 Amazon voucher and VIP entry to the Reward Strategy conference in spring.

Employers Served Two Orders

Both employers and employees need to be aware of two orders that will amend the Employment Rights Act, and how this could affect them - but questions remain

Introducing The Payroll & Reward Conference

Reward Strategy is pleased to announce its partnership with The Learn Centre for The Payroll and Reward Conference 2018, taking place in London, June 6 to 7 2018

Bacs To The Future

If you’re a payroll professional, you’re probably scratching your head wondering why the rest of the world seems to be riding a technological juggernaut when it comes to payments, but in your work life, it’s more like a horse-drawn cart



Reward Strategy

Did you find our website useful?

Thank you for your input

Thank you for your feedback - an online news and information service for the UK’s payroll, reward, pensions, benefits and HR sectors. is published by Shard Financial Media Limited, registered in England & Wales as 5481132, Axe & Bottle Court, 70 Newcomen St, London, SE1 1YT. All rights reserved. Reward Strategy is committed to diversity in the workplace.
© Copyright Shard Financial Media Ltd