Former tax boss Andrew Meeson took the stand at Birmingham Crown Court yesterday to deny allegations he played a leading role in a £5m pensions tax relief fraud.
Meeson, 52, the former president of the Association of Taxation Technicians, is accused, along with Peter Spencer Bradley, 45, Alison Jayne Bradley, 48, and Steven Price, 48, of conspiracy to cheat HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) between 1 January 2006 and 30 April 2010. All four defendants have pleaded not guilty.
Price denies a further count of acquiring criminal property from the proceeds of the fraud between 1 June 2007 and 30 April 2010.
Meeson, dressed in a dark suit with chin-length grey hair, confirmed he registered the Moya schemes with HMRC, filed the relief at source claims and did not dispute the money movements from the Moya pension scheme account, which include payments totalling £550,000 to his bank account until January 2010.
Meeson told the jury the money from the Moya account was part of a loan arrangement.
Asked by his counsel, John Ryder QC, whether borrowing the money was legal, Meeson replied: "To the best of my knowledge, yes."
Meeson testified that he set up the pension schemes because he was asked to do so by Thomas Scragg who was head of the Moya group of companies.
He said he did not suspect there was any dishonest purpose for setting up the schemes and received a list of employee names with corresponding amounts to be claimed for tax relief from Moya.
Meeson told the court he helped to create a composite company structure for Moya, which allowed construction industry firms to reduce their tax bill by employing workers.
The trial continues...
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