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Fraud barrister disbarred for tax fraud

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Didn’t realise it was an offence not to submit VAT returns

Spider Man point meme

A criminal barrister who specialised in fraud work has been disbarred from the profession for tax fraud.

Peter Moss, a former tenant of Linenhall Chambers, Chester, failed to submit 26 VAT returns and any self-assessment returns since 1999. Moss, who reportedly earned in excess of £600,000 between 2008 and 2016, accepted that he should have submitted the returns, but claimed he did not realise it was an offence not to do so.

Leeds Crown Court heard last year how Moss was in debt to a number of people and responded to “whoever shout[ed] the loudest”. Prosecutors claimed the experienced barrister’s offending caused a loss of £138,500 to HMRC.

Moss, who was called to the bar in 1980, was found guilty of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax and being knowingly concerned in fraudulent evasion of VAT. He was jailed for 18 months in June of last year.

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Moss, from Hawarden in Wales, has now been disbarred by an independent disciplinary tribunal.

The Bar Standards Board (BSB) said Moss had failed to act with honesty and/or integrity, and that he had acted in a way likely to diminish the trust and confidence in which the public places in him or in the profession.

Commenting on the order to disbar, Sara Jagger, BSB director of professional conduct, said:

“Involvement in fraudulent tax evasion is entirely incompatible with the ethical standards of the profession and continued membership of the Bar. The tribunal’s decision to disbar Mr Moss reflects this.”

The tribunal’s decision is open to appeal.

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18 Comments

Anonymous

Beggars belief

Anonymous

My man…

f

I bet he is awful at Monopoly.

Daisy Duke

You couldn’t make it up could you.

Anonymous

“Spider Man point meme”

Nice caption.

Tax Nerd

Not Ghosh dishonest but Ivey dishonest…

Anonymous

Ghosh was dishonest, Ivey was not.

Martin Routh

Disagree on your view that it didn’t satisfy the Ghosh test. Whether or not he subjectively realised it was an offence not to file returns tells you nothing about whether or not he subjectively realised that such conduct fell below the standards of honest and decent people. A negative change in society over the last twenty years or so is this assumption that if something is not specifically illegal then there has been no “wrongdoing”. In fact lots of things are unethical, wide, unacceptable, improper without being an offence.

Irrespective of that, cases such as this one show why the Ghosh test was a total load of tosh.

Cambridge LLB

Taxation IS theft, for the most part… can’t blame my learned colleague for trying.

Anonymous

To claim to not realise it was an offence not to submit tax returns takes mind-blowing gumption.

HMRC, bitch.

He should have accounted for jail time.

Nenenene VATman

He’s really lowered the Bar.

Anonymous

Invoice to inmate.

Incred

So… how did he think he was paying tax?

Did he think it was being deducted at source by the LAA, Solicitors or CPS when they paid him?

Anonymous

Why is it every time real, inside information is posted on here about Squire Patton Boggs, such information gets deleted? As far as I’m aware, the nepotistic and bullying culture that thrives at SPB is something that is in the public interest… or at least for those unfortunate prospective trainees who are contemplating doing a TC there…

Metoo

Set up an email address for other victims to contact you and put it in the firm’s Google Reviews.

You would be amazed how many others feel the same.

SPB HR

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you.

We’ll be checking our systems for visits to LC and contacting all slaves for a chat about any dissatisfaction you may be experiencing here.

Ashok Bhardwaj

I would question the competence of the Sett, namely the clerks, surely over such a lenthly period, this individual should have had support.
Also one has to question the tax authorities, allowing the situation to run for so many years.
The barrister in question has paid a heavy price for his lapse of judgement.

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