Accountants face £1m Gift Aid fraud charge

Edward Watkin Gittins and Martin Calcutt to appear at City of London Magistrates' Court, charged with cheating the public revenue

City of London Magistrates' Court
City of London Magistrates' Court

Two accountants will appear in court today in connection with a £1m Gift Aid fraud, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Edward Watkin Gittins, a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales and an Isle of Man resident, and Martin Calcutt, a member of the ICAEW, both face a charge of cheating the public revenue and will appear at City of London Magistrates’ Court today.

Calcutt faces an additional charge of forgery.

The CPS said it had charged both men after an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, which found evidence of a fraud allegedly costing the public revenue "in the region of £1m".

It is alleged that between March 2004 and February 2007, Watkin Gittins and Calcutt cheated the public revenue by abusing tax relief that allows individuals making gifts to charity to offset the market value of the gifts against their tax liabilities, the CPS said.

"It is alleged that Watkin Gittins designed the scheme while he and Calcutt both implemented it," said Jaswant Narwal, deputy head of fraud at the CPS.

It is also alleged that forged documents were supplied in order to persuade HMRC to grant their claim, she said.

A spokesman for HMRC said he was unable to give any further details on the case because of the court proceedings.

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