HM Revenue and Customs New Home in Greater Manchester

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs will be moving into Greater Manchester, at one of thirteen modern regional centres to be located across the UK. Located in Salford, the seven-storey block, 3 New Bailey, will become HM Revenue and Customs’ state-of-the-art regional centre. HMRC’s newest office in the North West will begin to be staffed from Spring 2022. 2,000 from various other locations will move into the new premises. In 2027/2028, the new phase of the regional centre will be set to open and welcome another 2,500 staff. Currently, these members of HMRC’s staff are based in Trinity House in Dearman’s Place, Salford. Additionally, across the North West region, there are currently 24 offices where HMRC staff are based. Ranging in size, hosting between almost a few thousand and just more than a dozen staff, these disparately sized offices are a relic of the 1960s and 1970s.

This expansion of staff is welcomed by local businesses, located around Chapel Street and New Bailey districts, right atop Salford’s border with Manchester city centre. The state-of-the-art facilities and expanded office area will allow HMRC to provide staff with modern technological infrastructure and improved training facilities. It is expected that the upgraded facilities and integrated working area will help HMRC support more skilled jobs and improved career progression paths, eliminating the need for staff to move across the country. Chief executive of HM Revenue and Customs, Jon Thompson, said, “HMRC’s presence in Salford, Manchester and the wider North West is longstanding and well-established. The new regional centre is a clear demonstration of our commitment to the area and its economy. New Bailey will deliver the flexible and collaborative working environment that our staff need and the centre will be a hub of highly-skilled career opportunities.” The new facility will also secure the jobs of thousands in the region.

Fraudster Invents Daughter in £140,000 Bogus Insurance Scam

A prolific and serial insurance fraudster, Susan Pain, was jailed in 2018 for a bogus insurance claim worth £140,000. The scammer invented a daughter named Sophie, who she claimed was seriously injured during the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing. As a result of this fictitious daughter’s injuries, Pain claimed that she was forced to take time off work. The court heard that she had managed to claim £139,834, over the duration of the insurance scam. The callous fraudster was convicted to two years imprisonment and ordered to repay the amount she had defrauded.

Manchester Arena Bombing Scam

Following an Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena, on 22 May 2017, a suicide bomber detonated an improvised explosive device killing 22 people and injuring 139 others. As a director of a firm that sold policies underwritten by AXA, Pain was an experienced insurance broker. However, her propensity for insurance fraud was uncovered with the made-up daughter. Known professionally as Susan Raufer, her former name, Pain made the fraudulent insurance claims in her own name. Yet, insurance firm AXA exposed her scam when they were unable to identify her fictitious daughter among the hundreds who suffered injuries at the Ariana Grande concert. The discovery of this scam exposed a web of lies, weaved by Pain over a seven-year period, comprising a number of insurance scams.

Fraudster Is Ordered to Repay Proceeds of Crime

The prosecution’s Christopher Hopkins argued that Pain had benefitted to the tune of £139,834 over the course of the scam. A confiscation order, targeting Pain’s house and pension, was made. With £88,134 being claimed from the value of the property and further sums to be seized from the perpetrator’s pension, when it becomes available. Under the Proceeds of Crime Applications, prosecutors are able to demand further cash, as it becomes available, regardless of the source of the income.


Rogue HMRC Officials Defraud Manchester Millionaire Property Tycoon and Embezzle Millions from Public Purse

In a striking tale befitting a Hollywood blockbuster, millionaire property tycoon Alan Huntington fell victim to rogue HMRC officials who defrauded the innocent victim and looted millions from the government’s coffers. The elaborate fraud was headed by the government’s finest and most seasoned financial fraud investigators, who were tasked with safeguarding millions of pounds. With most details of the tax fraud redacted in the government’s papers, released under the Freedom of Information Act, the true scope and extent of the elaborate fraud remain official state secrets. Working across government departments, mostly Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, the culprits gathered the wherewithal for the slick operation over the course of decades. The tax scam saw the group utilise a variety of means, stealing millions in corporation tax, capital gains tax, inheritance tax and stamp duty.

Manchester Actor Rob Bond and the Homeless Millionaire (2016)

Starring actor Rod Bond and directed by Ridley Scott, the story of the fraud and embezzlement which cost Alan Huntington millions of pounds, alongside his multi-million-pound property portfolio, was immortalised in 2016 Hollywood blockbuster Homeless Millionaire. Manchester’s urban centre and Cheshire’s extravagant Tatton Park and Lyme Park estates offered the backdrop to the on-screen hit, as we watch Alan Huntington’s destitution at the hands of rogue HMRC officials. The real-life story is somewhat adapted, but the gripping crime drama successfully encapsulates the real-life plot’s twists and turns.

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs Reform

In the wake of the mostly covered-up tax scandal that broke in 2003, an extensive shake-up of the government department was ordered, which was followed by a cabinet reshuffle. With the twenty-year ban on the publication of further details from the tax scam set to expire in four years’ time, we’re sure this won’t be the last we’ve heard about this.