Barrister gets three years for £628k VAT fraud

The Court of Appeal has upheld conviction of barrister Rohan Pershad, and sentence of three and a half years imprisonment for £628,000 VAT fraud carried out over 12 years

The Court rejected claims that the summing up at his trial was ‘unbalanced, unfair and defective’ and his conviction at Blackfriars Crown Court in February 2013 was ‘unsafe.’

Details emerged at the trial of how Pershad used the money to buy luxury homes in Surrey for £1.1m and Somerset for £490,000. He also sent his four children to private school.

The 45-year-old -who became a QC in 2011 – saw his income rise from £85,000 in 2001 to £346,000 a year by 2008 but he failed to pay VAT he charged clients between 1999 and 2011 to HMRC.

Pershad said in defence that he thought his chambers were paying the VAT on his behalf.

Lord Thomas said the evidence against the barrister was ‘formidable’ and his explanation for failure to pay was ‘incapable of belief. The conviction is entirely safe.’

 

Roger Pearson |Legal correspondent

Roger Pearson is legal correspondent...

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