Two jailed over £5m wine tax fraud

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Your email address will not be published.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

Fine Wine Sales Administrator

Davy's Wine Merchants
London, UK

Content Manager (Maverick Drinks)

ATOM Supplies
London, UK

Graphic Designer (NPD)

ATOM Supplies
Tunbridge Wells, UK

Press Officer

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

UK Private Clients Manager

Ditton Wine Traders
London, UK

London Business Development Manager

Maisons Marques et Domaines UK Ltd

Head of Buying - Spirits

Enotria&Coe
West London, UK

Liquid Production Supervisor

ATOM Supplies
Tonbridge, Kent, UK

Sales Account Manager – Cotswolds

Haynes Hanson & Clark
Gloucestershire, UK

Communications & PR Manager

Bruichladdich
Islay, UK

International Bulk Wine and Spirits Show

London,United Kingdom
26th Feb 2018

Spirited London

London,United Kingdom
15th Mar 2018

Prowein 2018

Dusseldorf,Germany
18th Mar 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more