Published: 14:00, 08 January 2018
| Updated: 18:13, 05 April 2019
A former construction firm owner and his accountant have been ordered to pay back more than £3.5million or have their prison sentences extended.
Aquil Ahmed, 61 and Victor Shearer, 44, were both jailed in October 2016 for their part in fraudulent payroll schemes that took £6.9million from HMRC in VAT, Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and Construction Industry Scheme deductions.
Nicol Sheppard, assistant director of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service, said the pair were "driven by greed".
Workers at Shearer's company, Leaner Logistics Ltd, thought their taxes were being paid to HMRC, instead, they were lining his and Ahmed's pockets.
Ahmed, formerly of St Leonards Street in West Malling, ran the payroll for Shearer's company through his 'Keepers' accountancy business.
In June 2016 Ahmed admitted conspiracy to cheat the public revenue. He was jailed for seven years and eight months in October 2016, and disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.
He spent his ill-gotten gains on a Bentley along with properties in the UK, USA and Turkey.
Ahmed also took holidays to Dubai and the Monaco Grand Prix.
During his trial, the court heard Shearer laundered £1.2million through a bank in Gibraltar, spending money on property, cars and ski holidays.
In July 2016 Shearer, formerly of Discovery Drive, Kings Hill, was convicted of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and money laundering. He was jailed for seven years and six months, and disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.
Both men now face selling their assets to pay back £3,578,999.33.
On Wednesday, January 3, Ahmed was ordered to pay £2,932,605.36 at Maidstone Crown Court within three months or face five extra years in prison.
The following day, Shearer was told at the same court to pay £646,393.97 within three months, or face an extra three years in jail.
"If they fail to comply with these orders they will spend even more time behind bars - and still owe the money" - Nicol Sheppard, HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service
If either convict fails to pay the money, they will still owe it to HMRC.
Ms Sheppard added: “We do everything we can to stop criminals profiting from their crimes and to recover the money to fund the public purse.
"Ahmed and Shearer stole millions of pounds from the UK economy, using numerous UK and offshore companies to hide their fraud. They were driven by greed, abusing systems that are designed to ensure workers are paid correctly and taxes paid to HMRC.
“They are still serving their prison sentences and if they fail to comply with these orders they will spend even more time behind bars - and still owe the money.
"We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”