A man and woman from Enfield who ran a financial advice firm have each been jailed for two years for fraudulently trying to claim almost £145,000 in Gift Aid.
Raymond Agbo, 42, and Akua Owusu, 26, claimed that fictitious UK taxpayers had donated to the Church of Grace Ministries UK.
The two ran Mondvi & Co Ltd, a financial services company, through which they processed a Gift Aid repayment claim for £144,800 on behalf of the church.
To support the claim they provided false documentation - including the names and addresses of donors who did not exist.
David Margree, assistant director, criminal investigation for HMRC, said: "Agbo and Owusu had the financial knowledge to make a determined attempt to steal from honest people. They submitted the false claim knowing that it was an abuse of a scheme designed to help charities in need.
"I strongly encourage anyone with information about people committing this type of fraud to call the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887."
Sentencing Agbo and Owusu at the Old Bailey yesterday, His Honour Judge Marks QC described the fraud as deliberate, and said: "You both played an active part in the fraud...you have shown no iota of remorse for what you have done."
Agbo and Owusu, both of Enfield, London, were both sentenced to two years' imprisonment.
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