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HMA v James McGee


May 16, 2022

At Ayr Sheriff Court today, Sheriff Mhairi Mactaggart sentenced James McGee to 30 months imprisonment, after the offender was convicted of money laundering and VAT fraud, aggravated by connection with serious organised crime.

On sentencing Sheriff Mactaggart made the following remarks in court:

"Mr McGee, you were found guilty of charges 1, 2 and 3 on this indictment after many days of trial.

The first charge is one of vat fraud and attempted vat fraud and the sums involved are not insubstantial.   This charge is aggravated by connection with serious organised crime.
Charge two is a contravention of section 328(1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, namely money laundering and charge three is a contravention of section 327(1) of the same Act, again money laundering. 

These charges, individually, and indeed when taken together, are very serious indeed.

You used your professional knowledge as a former HMRC officer, to defraud the very organisation you represented in that capacity.    Your actions, along with others resulted in a not insignificant loss to the Treasury and, therefore, to the public.  This fraud was carefully planned and executed by you and others.  Thereafter you along with others were involved in the laundering of the money you defrauded from HMRC and indeed, you alone were responsible for the setting up and controlling of an online betting account in the name of a deceased man, the purpose of which was again to launder money fraudulently obtained.

I have taken into account all that has been said on your behalf in mitigation, your lack of any criminal record, your age, the references presented on your behalf and your charitable work.  I have also taken into account the terms of the Criminal Justice Social Work Report.

That being said, I have come to the view that the only appropriate sentence for these offences is a custodial one.

On charge number one you will be sentenced to 24 months imprisonment.  On charges two and three you will be sentenced to 30 months imprisonment on each charge. In respect of all these sentences I have taken into account the serious organised crime aggravation in arriving at those sentences so no additional sentence is imposed in respect of that.   These sentences will run concurrently and from today."