The director of a Basingstoke call centre business and an accountant, have been jailed for a total of seven and a half years after an investigation into a £2.3m income tax, National Insurance and VAT fraud.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that David Buckley, 51, stole PAYE deductions from employees and VAT whilst he was the managing director of Compensation Professionals Network Ltd between 2008 and 2012.

The call centre employed around 100 people to buy and sell leads for personal injury and PPI claims.

Buckley hired Swansea-based accountant Mahmood Sadiq Poptani, 60, in 2011.

Investigators found that instead of paying the taxes due, Buckley bought shares in other businesses and propped up his own failing company. Poptani played a crucial role in the illegal movement of money from Compensation Professionals Network Ltd and sent £453,000 overseas.

Daren Cooley, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“HMRC is committed to ensuring all companies and individuals pay the right tax at the right time and we will pursue those who fail to do so. We used our criminal powers to uncover Buckley’s significant failure as a managing director. He knew what was owed and when.

“Buckley and Poptani are now paying the price for their dishonesty with a spell in prison. If you know of anyone committing any type of tax fraud, you can report them to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Compensation Professionals Network Ltd went into liquidation in 2013 and Buckley and Poptani were arrested in November 2015. They went on trial at Winchester Crown Court on 15 July 2019.

On the second day of their trial Buckley pleaded guilty to one count of the fraudulent evasion of VAT and two counts of the fraudulent evasion of income tax. Poptani pleaded guilty to one count of concealing criminal property.

They were sentenced at the same court on 25 July 2019. Buckley was jailed for four years and 11 months and Poptani was jailed for two years and eight months