A solicitor who lied about his income to steal more than £60,000 from HM Revenue & Customs has been jailed for 18 months.
Criminal defence specialist Azhar Islam Khan, 45, from North London, failed to declare the shareholder dividend income from his business and rental income he received from two properties in Blackburn and Preston.
An investigation by HMRC revealed that Khan withdrew money from his law firm, Wembley-based City Law Solicitors, but lied in his accounts, recording the transactions as ‘professional fees’.
Investigators also discovered that Khan paid for a new kitchen and bathroom for his home from the company bank account. This was recorded as ‘business expenses’, an HMRC statement said.
Khan, who chose not to give any evidence at his four-week trial, was found guilty of income tax evasion and cheating the public revenue.
He was jailed for 18 months at Harrow Crown Court on 24 February and was also suspended from holding company directorships for four years.
In 2016, the Solicitors Regulation Authority placed restrictions on Khan including barring him from appearing as an advocate in criminal proceedings and from acting as a sole practitioner or manager without SRA approval.
An SRA spokesperson told the Gazette: ’Now that the criminal case has concluded, we will collate all necessary information and decide on an appropriate course of action.