London solicitor jailed for £380k stamp duty fraud

The former owner of a West London law firm has been jailed for more than three years for stealing £380,000 in Stamp Duty.

Manpreet Singh (formerly Munpreet Singh Virdee), of Orchard Avenue, Hounslow, was the owner and director of Reemans Solicitors Ltd and would pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) on behalf of clients buying property.

However, an investigation revealed the 50-year-old repeatedly falsified documents and submitted incorrect information to HMRC to reduce the amount of stamp duty due. He charged his clients the full correct amount and pocketed the difference.

In total, Singh filed 52 fraudulent SDLT returns to HMRC between November 2010 and July 2015. He continued to submit false documentation to try and cover up his wrongdoing when HMRC started looking into his tax affairs.

Linda Hamilton, Deputy Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“This was a deliberate and sustained attack on the tax system. Singh worked in a position of trust and thought it was acceptable to con his clients and steal taxpayers’ money which should be used to fund our vital public services.

“HMRC will continue to pursue the small minority, like Singh, who think fraud is an acceptable way to do business.”

Singh admitted Cheating the Public Revenue at Isleworth Crown Court on 6 July 2021 and was sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

To date, he has repaid around £253,000 of the stolen SDLT and proceedings are ongoing to recover the remaining amount.

Singh admitted the offence of Cheating the Public Revenue and was sentenced at Isleworth Crown Court this week to three years and four months in prison. In August 2020 he was struck off by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and in July 2020 he was disqualified from being a company director for a period of six years


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  1. PeeBee

    Shocking!  Unbelievable!  How could this possibly happen?

    Prima facie proof if ever needed that solicitors should be regulated.

    Oh… hang on…

    1. jan - byers

      regulation does not mean a great deal in reality

      1. PeeBee

        (sighs) That was my point.  Apologies for radically altering its’ appearance by submersing it in pure sarcasm.

    2. Woodentop

      Proves my point over the years, you can have all the regulations and licensing. Dishonesty is a mind set and without pro-active policing, open to the wild west. Another cowboy sent to jail to join the 78,362 as of this week.

      1. jan - byers

        agree with you 100%

      2. PeeBee

        “Dishonesty is a mind set”
        That is true, Woodentop – but it can also also be an unfortunate by-product of desperation, or a whole host of other ‘excuses’ given by those who who have been caught committing an act of dishonesty.
        Whilst the circumstances of this case are unknown, a series of offences committed over nearly five years (plus potentially others not exposed) indicates sustained intent which would have no doubt continued had the alarm bells not started ringing that brought the offences to the attention of HMRC.
        You just have to wonder how and why, at an average of £7300 per offence, it took so long for such a considerable number of pennies involved to drop at the feet of the authorities.
        …and how many more pennies are hanging in the air.

  2. Retiredandrelaxed

    Fundamentally, it’s integrity – “Doing the right thing, even when no-one is looking”.


    There again, if everyone acted with integrity, there would be no need for regulations

    1. PeeBee

      Randr – ever the voice of reason.

  3. paulgbar666

    Integrity eh!?


    So how about Govt integrity!?


    Like NOT introducing retrospective tax legislation that undermines a previously working business model!?…………S24!!


    By all means introduce S24 for all new mortgages on new properties but NOT for previously bought properties.

    For LL rendered unviable by such an appalling tax measure  as S24 do you think such LL would give a stuff about integrity!!??


    Survival is the imperative for such LL.


    I’m afraid integrity goes out the window when LL viability is threatened by ridiculous retrospective Govt tax policies.


    Same thing would occur with rent controls.


    I know for certain I would collect the true monthly rent in a brown envelope over the controlled rent amount.


    So again integrity disappears.


    Cash isn’t detectible.


    Rent controls would be a disaster.


    So integrity can go very quickly when Govt interferes in markets.


    I care nothing for integrity if I am prevented from operating in a market.


    However I intend to be long gone before such things occur.


    It would not surprise me to see the Tories introduce rent controls UK wide in the next 3 years.

    This is a Communist Tory Party trying to steal Labour clothes.







    1. jan - byers


      I know you are in a  difficult situation with your flats and the EWS1 form issue but this was about a dodgy lawyer!

      Tax legislation changes all the time – indeed with every budget there are changes in tax.

      Do you think then that all changes in taxation should only apply to business who start after the new legislation.

      How about increases in tax on beer for instance?

      Should I not have to pay more for a pint because the tax on beer when up after I started drinking and maybe onloy people who start drinking after the increase in tax should pay the higher price of  a pint?

      Anyone who starts a business is aware of that and needs to accept that is a possibility.

      It is just a business expense.

      Taxation has changed ion my business since I started.

      I expected that to happen – it always has – always will.

      If you would take cash and not pay tax you can hardly expect any help from the govt or sympathy from people who pay their tax.

      1. paulgbar666

        You can’t extrapolate for other taxation etc.   S24 was a rather unique retrospective tax.   It was targeted to drive mortgaged sole trader LL out of business.   Govt could have stated that to avoid S24 any LL could convert to corporate status for FREE.   But had Govt done so it would not have forced so many LL out of business. S24 was designed to get rid of LL who traded in their own names.   If Govt had been genuine it would have offered free incorporation.   But we all know S24 was a vindictive tax designed to get rid of mortgaged sole trader LL.   As far as rent controls would be concerned Govt would lose billions if there were only controlled rents.   There would still be self-managing LL like me that would charge extra collected in a brown envelope.. Just the way it would be! Tenants wouldn’t demure from paying up.   They want the property. But all academic as England doesn’t have rent controls.   Though I would say that the market is an effective rent control!!   Controlled rents would mean massive deposits being required as rental cover would mean much reduced LTV. Could potentially depress property prices as few could afford to invest at controlled rent levels. But all these things terrify me which is why I’m desperate to get out of the game. I knew when Grenfell went up what would be occurring with flats. I wanted to sell but my lender wouldn’t allow me to until certain things had been done. But with the SDLT thing and controlled rents you could easily have purchases occurring with a stated price and a bag of cash.   Solicitors wouldn’t be party to this or have any knowledge of. Rent controls and the effects of don’t bear thinking about.   But I have to say that the Tories introducing rent controls wouldn’t surprise me at all. Those LL staying the course in spite of all the ###p coming down on them have my utmost respect.   I just don’t have that grit!!        


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