Two jailed over £5m wine tax fraud

15th March, 2013 by Andy Young

Two men have been jailed after being found guilty of excise duty and VAT evasion after trying to smuggle illicit Italian wine into the UK.

Italian wine fraudAlberto Mori, 53, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment and Roberto Parma, 54, was sentenced to six years and seven months. The pair imported the wine from Italy and sold it on without paying more than £5 million in duty and VAT.

David Margree, assistant director of criminal investigation, HMRC, said: “The sole intention of importing this wine was to rip off the honest taxpayer to line their own pockets. These men thought they would use crafty code words and complex chains to avoid detection, but HMRC was able to detect and stop this scam.

“HMRC will not stand by while criminals try to cheat the system. The message is clear – HMRC will find you, and you will go to court.”

Parma, owner of I Nobili UK Ltd, imported wine using the UK’s duty suspension scheme, but the Tax Office said the pair exploited the scheme by using the same delivery documents many times. They then avoiding paying duty by diverting the wine from the bonded warehouse, when duty would normally be paid.

Mori, owner of Soldo UK Ltd, a London wine merchant, worked with Parma to sell the imported wine illegally through a network of wholesalers around the UK.

Parma and Mori were arrested in July 2009 after a discovery of more than 114,000 litres of wine during a search. HMRC investigators realised the scale of the fraud after finding records on a company computers and on a memory stick mapping out the fraud. Further investigations found that the pair used Skype messaging to organise the movement of wine and gave code words for drivers to use when picking up the loads, which helped to avoid paperwork going to the right officials.

After being arrested Parma and Mori skipped bail and fled to Italy, but were later found by Italian police and extradited back to the UK in 2012 to stand trial.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Experienced Administrator

The Drinks Business
Central London, UK

Sales Executive (London – Craft Spirits)

Bimber Distillery
London, UK

2 x Buying Assistants

Berry Bros. & Rudd
Battersea and Basingstoke, UK

Temporary Christmas Sales Support - Wines & Spirits

Harrods
Knighsbridge, London, UK

Head of Wholesale

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

Sales Manager

Hispamerchants Ltd
London, UK

National Sales Manager

Maverick Drinks
Field based, UK

Regional Sales Executive

EWGA
Gloucestershire, UK

The World Bulk Wine Exhibition

Amsterdam,Netherlands
20th Nov 2017

The Drinks Business Green Awards 2017

London,United Kingdom
20th Nov 2017

The Global Spirits Masters Lunch

London,United Kingdom
1st Dec 2017
Click to view more

Green Awards 2017

Deadline : 25th October 2017

The Global Riesling Masters 2017

Deadline : 30th October 2017

Click to view more

Champagne Masters 2017

The only Champagne blind tasting in the UK, the competition will reward the best wines in the following categories:

The Global Rosé Masters 2017

With wines from the palest of pink to almost ruby red, bone dry to almost cloyingly sweet, reductively handled to barrel-aged, as well as gently spritzy to fully sparkling.

Click to view more