Our client was charged together with 5 others with an offence of conspiracy to commit misconduct in public office. The lead defendant in the case was a long-serving HMRC officer.
The allegation was that our client along with other traders in the alcohol and tobacco industry had become involved in an illegal arrangement with the HMRC officer who was responsible for assessing the suitability of traders to hold excise licences, undertaking inspections to ensure compliance with regulations and determining the duty status of alcohol at cash and carry’s.
The HMRC officer had signed the Official Secrets Act and was aware of his duties to maintain all intelligence that he gathered on a confidential basis.
This was a complex and detailed prosecution brought by HMRC (Operation Spallation). The Prosecution used extensive surveillance techniques to bring this case to court. As well as covert surveillance on all defendants, HMRC made use of probe devices to listen to the defendants in conversation as well as monitoring the work phones of the suspected HMRC officer.
The case concluded at the Central Criminal Court (the Old Bailey) today and the HMRC officer received an immediate prison sentence in excess of 3 years.
Our client received a suspended sentence and therefore avoided an immediate custodial sentence for his role in the matter.
Should you require any representation regarding a similar matter, please do not hesitate to contact us.