Man in handcuffs

Property pair jailed for £1m tax fraud

Two men who bought and sold over 50 properties but failed to pay nearly £1m in tax, have been jailed for more than eight years following an HMRC investigation.

Madhu Bhajanehatti, of London and Himat Chana, from Ilford, Essex, sold dozens of properties over an eight-year period, and evaded £991,000 in capital gains tax.

An HMRC investigation found that although the men disclosed some income on their self-assessment tax returns, they deliberately hid the sales of properties across London and Essex.

A specialist property taskforce set up to tackle fraud in the industry discovered the men had built up their property portfolios by using the proceeds of previous sales. Bhajanehatti evaded £650,000 in tax and Chana evaded £341,000.

Bhajanehatti admitted the fraud during a hearing at Southwark Crown Court in June 2019. Chana was convicted after trial in August 2019. Both have now been sentenced, with Bhajanehatti given a 50 months jail term and Chana sentenced to 52 months in jail.

Bhajanehatti was also ordered to pay back £190,086 in a confiscation order. He has less than three months to pay it back or he faces a further two years and six months in jail. Confiscation proceedings for Chana are on-going. If further assets are identified in the future for Bhajanehatti, they could also be confiscated.