A tax agent who stole more than £100,000 from his clients, including a dying man, has been jailed for three years and nine months for his "despicable behaviour".
Joseph Logue, 64, from Northampton, made both genuine and fake self-assessment repayment claims for his clients but kept the money for himself over a four year period.
An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs revealed Logue stole the repayments instead of passing them on, using the money to buy alcohol and fund his lifestyle living in a hotel.
Logue cheated his clients out of a total of £107,000, including a man who was on end-of-life care and has since died.
As a consequence, some of the victims struggled to claim Covid support and benefits as their tax returns falsely overstated their income, while others were questioned by HMRC for tax debt they didn’t owe.
Logue was jailed at Northampton Crown Court after admitting 35 charges of abuse of trust by fraudulently creating tax returns.
“Joseph Logue’s despicable behaviour has left a trail of destruction for victims who placed their trust in him and the professional services he was claiming to offer", Nick Stone, Operational Lead in HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service, said.
"Some victims had money stolen they were genuinely entitled to claim. We are now working with the victims and relatives to correct tax records.
“Tax agents hold a position of enormous trust and using clients’ details to steal money is a huge breach of that trust.
“This sentence should serve as a warning to the minority of corrupt professionals who wrongly believe they can use their knowledge and position of trust to commit tax crime."
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