Poker champ loses £30K winnings to HMRC

A poker champion has been stripped of tournament prize-money for a second time to repay money he stole in a tax fraud

Adam Lulat was jailed for 28 months in 2015 for his involvement in a £40m money laundering scam and a pan-European VAT fraud, following a HMRC investigation.

Lulat was ordered to repay £68,930 in August 2018, after topping a tournament in Manchester and HMRC has now taken his prize-money for a second time after he won another competition.

He was ordered to hand over a further £30,200 prize money within three months or face 18 months in jail, at a confiscation hearing at Manchester Crown Court on 20 March 2019.

Previously, Lulat was part of a six-man gang jailed for a total of 25 years and ten months and ordered to repay £590,000. He was originally made to repay a nominal £1 due to a lack of assets.

HMRC discovered Lulat was a part of the gang that worked for other groups moving approximately £40m of cash through multiple bank accounts in the UK and other countries between 1 September 2010 and 30 November 2011.

They were also involved in a separate VAT fraud and HMRC investigators tracked their activities across Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic. They fabricated businesses to make fraudulent VAT repayment claims against multiple EU member states using a complex web of transactions.

Debbie Porter, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: ‘Lulat may have hoped that his win would go under the table, but once again we had an ace up our sleeve and it is HMRC cashing in his chips.

‘This sends a clear message that HMRC will relentlessly pursue criminals for their ill-gotten gains.’

Report by Amy Austin

Amy Austin |Reporter, Accountancy Daily [2016-2019]

Amy Austin was reporter, Accountancy Daily and Accountancy magazine, published by ...

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