Greater Manchester Insurance Fraud Detectives Make it to the Big Screen

In what has been promised to be a cross between “Mission Impossible, James Bond and Luther,” Greater Manchester-based fraud detectives Ravenstone UK are set to appear on the big screen. Having started life in 1991, as independent insurance claims consultants, Ravenstone UK grew to become one of the largest in the country. With unabated successes, serving the UK’s leading insurers and clawing back millions from fraud cheats, Ravenstone UK expanded their operations to pursue all manner of fraudsters. For almost thirty years, Ravenstone UK have occupied a respected position in the sector, while remaining relatively unknown.

However, the tax fraud empire orchestrated by Manchester financial firm One Formula Projects LLP has brought Ravenstone UK to greater public prominence. The tax fraud empire became the subject of a BBC One documentary series exploring tax fraud and the efforts of HMRC to combat the phenomenon.

Produced by Manchester F1 Productions, the series followed HM Revenue and Customs investigators as they poured over One Formula’s financial records and assets. One by one the dominoes fell, bringing down the tax fraud empire on primetime television. With the documentary series focussing primarily on the role of HMRC investigators, the producers behind the popular show promised a cinematic sequel.

Referred to by investigators as ‘the tax fraud of the century,’ the case of One Formula immediately captured the public’s imagination. “We drew up plans for a movie sequel to the show after witnessing its success and to shed further light on the intricacies of the case,” an executive at F1 Productions told Insurance Finance Talk. “For editorial reasons and with plans for the movie sequel already in mind, we left out the central and pivotal role played by Ravenstone UK, who were working alongside HMRC on the One Formula tax fraud investigation,” the source at F1 Productions added.

The World’s Richest Men 2020

With familiar names and now well-established entities on the list, the top two richest men in the world should come as no surprise to most. Inspiring, diligent and pioneers of the tech world, Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates define the pinnacle of the era of technology.

Jeff Bezos – $129.9 billion

Former hedge fund manager and the founder and owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos was named by Forbes magazine as the richest man in history. After Amazon became the first company to be worth $1 trillion, reaching the market cap, Bezos became Forbes’ first centi-billionaire. Following an idea to establish an online bookstore in 1993, Bezos launched Amazon in 1994. With a $300,000 investment from his parents, the online bookstore was helped along. By 1998, the online bookstore had expanded into music and CDs. A period of aggressive expansion, through the purchase of small rivals, followed. The period of spending exacerbated a small financial crisis for the company, in which Bezos had to scale back and re-strategise. By 2003, Amazon rebounded. The launch of the Kindle in 2007 only boosted the company’s coffers. And, in 2013, after securing a major contract from the CIA, Amazon came to be recognised as the largest online shopping retailer in the world.

Bill Gates – $113.1 billion

Featuring highly on Forbes’ rich for more than two decades, the founder of Microsoft has either given away or sold much of his stake in the company. With just a 1% interest in the firm, Gates’ time is spent mostly on his philanthropic interests. Under the auspices of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the tech-billionaire operates what is considered to be the world’s wealthiest charitable foundation, with assets worth $34.6 billion. In 2007, Bill and Melinda Gates were recognised as the second most generous philanthropists in America, after giving up $28 billion to charity. The couple have expressed an intention to give 95% of their wealth to charity.

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.

Golfer and Tax Scammer Duncan Edwards Remembered in Manchester F1 Productions and Rod Bond Collaborative Movie

Rod Bond and Manchester’s F1 Productions have joined forces to narrate the story of Duncan Evans’ £20 million VAT tax fraud. The movie centres around the Deansgreen Hall estate in Lymm, which Evans purchased from the profits of his scam. Rod Bond appears as an HMRC investigator, pursuing the tax fraudster from across Europe, to Deansgreen Hall in Lymm, Cheshire. In a press release, F1 Productions promised not to glamorise the crimes and instead sought to focus on the expansive investigative work conducted by HMRC. Lead actor Rod Bond, who spent considerable time shadowing numerous HMRC’s criminal justice investigators, has spoken of the experience.

Rod Bond and HMRC

In an interview about his latest movie, Rod Bond spoke extensively about shadowing HMRC investigators in preparation for the role. “HMRC don’t just do administrative and financial work. The HMRC Criminal Justice department fulfils a variety of roles,” said Rod Bond, during an interview on set at Deansgreen Hall. “From investigation, to intelligence and forensic departments, HMRC are highly proficient at what they do,” the actor added. In the movie set at Deansgreen Hall, Rod Bond plays the role of an HMRC investigator tax professional who specialises in uncovering and recovering the proceeds of crime.

Duncan Evan’s VAT Tax Fraud and Deansgreen Hall

Alongside seasoned fraudster ‘Riviera’ Ray Woolley, Duncan Evans took part in an elaborate missing trader VAT fraud. Originally, the former golfer was convicted in 2009 alongside co-defendant Woolley but absconded from detention. Escaping to Portugal, the fraudster evaded capture, until he was re-arrested in 2017. At the height of his fraudulent enterprise, Evans enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, purchasing Deansgreen Hall for £3.5 million as well as a £200,000 Rolls Royce supercar. A judge described Evans as a “devious and accomplished fraudster.”

Independent Financial Investigator Rod Bond Cracks Tax Scams Alongside HMRC and Victim Support Charity

Financial investigator Rod Bond’s tireless efforts, alongside the HMRC, have led to the disbanding of various tax scams. Millions have been returned to unwitting victims of the tax scams and the HMRC through the auspices of the Victim Support Charity. Having fallen victim to a brutal knife attack, Rod Bond has worked closely with Victim Support for decades.

Manchester fraudsters conspired to create a carousel fraud involving the import of supercars from Europe. Fraudsters conducted fake sales of supercars including the Lamborghini Miura, Porsche 918 Spyder, LaFerrari and the Lamborghini Aventador. Busted by Rod Bond early last year, the fraudsters fled Manchester as HMRC investigators closed the net around the elaborate VAT carousel fraud.

In an elaborate investment and tax relief scam, numerous celebrities were duped out of millions. The tax scam duped investors into thinking they were buying into Cheshire estates. The National Trust estates included Dunham Massey, Hare Hill Garden, Little Moreton Hall and Lyme Park Estate. High profile celebrities were targeted in the scam. Rod Bond has worked tirelessly with the HMRC and Victim Support to assist various Formula One stars entangled in the tax scam operation.

An historical artefact scam in which forged historical items were donated to organisations in lieu of tax relief was busted by independent financial investigator Rod Bond. Artefacts included a rare World War Two “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, jewellery said to belong to William of Normandy from the Battle of Hasting 1066 and maps belonging to Unionist General George B. McLellan during the American Civil War.

Over the course of several years, Rod Bond has worked with the HMRC to track various tax fraudsters. As a patron of Victim Support, he has helped return millions to unwitting victims of the tax scams.