An unemployed man who pretended to be a solicitor to try to get a £19,000 tax debt cancelled has been jailed.

Nicholas Moss, 51, claimed to work for the pro bono organisation Community Law Project (CLP) in northwest London and faked court documents to cancel the sum.

Moss (pictured) said he represented his ‘client’ at Willesden County Court in June 2012, where a judgment was awarded in favour of HM Revenue & Customs.

In November 2012, HMRC received a letter from the client’s accountant together with a forged judgment originating from the CLP.

The judgment appeared to have been issued by Sir James Munby, president of the Family Division, quashing the client‘s debt to HMRC. Moss then sent a further letter to the accountant but addressed to HMRC demanding tax repayments for his client.

Last Friday Moss was sentenced to 18 months in prison for forging a county court judgment and six months for impersonating a solicitor, to run concurrently. Mr Recorder Sells QC also activated a four-month suspended sentence for a previous conviction for giving immigration advice when not authorised to do so.

Peter Millroy, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: ‘Moss purposely and blatantly tried to manipulate the UK justice system, creating a fake document he believed would be seen as legitimate and issued by a High Court judge.

‘This criminal action undermines the work of UK law enforcement agencies and the judiciary and is one we take extremely seriously.’

On sentencing Mr Recorder Sells QC commented: ‘You were seriously dishonest and abused the judicial system for your own ends.’