Identical twin brothers have been jailed after they set up fake charities to steal more than £450,000 in Gift Aid scams.
Arfan and Imran Ali, 30 years old, both of Inverclyde Road, Birmingham, claimed they were trustees of charities providing clean water in the developing world, but a HM Revenue and Customs investigation found they used aliases and set up those charities only to commit fraud. The brothers also submitted false claims using the details of a real charity.
In total they claimed £456,000, of which all but £69,000 was paid out. HMRC is now engaged in confiscation proceedings to get the money back.
Imran was jailed for five years following a trial in July last year, and Arfan, who failed to turn up at that trial, was jailed for four years and eight months last week, both of them for conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.
Both twins attempted to blame the other exclusively for their crimes.
Paul Fisher, assistant director, fraud investigation service at HMRC said: “It’s shocking to see the depth of cynicism these two sank to steal money. They twisted and abused a way of helping good causes. They set up bogus charities as a front to commit fraud. The brothers knew what they were doing was utterly wrong but didn’t care.”