Tax expert fined for impersonating tax man
A tax solicitor turned pornstar has been ordered to pay over £225,000 in fines and costs after admitting impersonating an official from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), in a failed attempt to get information from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) that would overturn the tribunal’s decision to strike him off.
Sometimes fact really is stranger than fiction.
Paul Baxendale-Walker qualified as a barrister before going on to become a tax solicitor. But, in 2007, the now 52 year-old was struck off from being a solicitor for his role in providing a reference for an associate of fraudulent trustees of a pension scheme.
But fear not: post being struck off, Baxendale-Walker had other ventures to occupy him. He was the proud owner of adult film company Bluebird, and he directed a number of porn films himself, occasionally casting himself. He said:
I make adult films, some people use the word porn. I don’t mind — the content is what it is.
2012 proved a particularly busy year for the tax specialist. He bought lads’ mag Loaded out of administration, and sold his precious adult film company for an estimated $20m (£14m). At the time, he told The Guardian:
I guess I live the Loaded lifestyle. Girls, cars, money, helicopters and fun, fun, fun.
Fast-forward to the present day, and Baxendale-Walker has found himself in the doghouse again. It has been reported that he wrote to the SRA under a false name, on paper headed to look as though it was from HMRC, to try to access information about an investigation into his own misconduct.
The former lawyer — who, according to his rather bizarre Wikipedia page, also sings and plays guitar with his rock band Candyrock — was after an admission of wrongdoing from the SRA, which might overturn the decision to strike him off.
Last week at Guildford Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to one count of forgery, having initially denied the charges. Five counts of fraud will remain on file.
He was fined £15,015 — hardly a staggering sum considering his background. But, factor in the prosecution costs, and that figure is hiked up to a pretty hefty £225,015.
His Honour Judge Peter Moss had this to say:
Your intention in writing the letter was to lead the recipient to telling you things he would otherwise not have done. You determined by trick and underhand means to pursue an individual who was correctly employed by the SRA. Such people are entitled to be protected from the harassment you subjected them to.
High Court judge mocks solicitor-turned-pornstar’s romantic prose style in ‘hunny bunny’ dispute [Legal Cheek]