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to wonder if you would stick by a friend convicted of fraud?

(42 Posts)
FitbitAddict Tue 16-Aug-16 09:27:12

DH has a long-standing friend who has recently been convicted of stealing £1.2M from HMRC by collecting tax etc from employees and not passing it on, including concealing it in dozens of international bank accounts. Sentencing is next month. DH says the friend was 'stupid enough to make a serious error of judgement'. IMO it goes a lot further than that. DH is going to meet up with him before he gets sentenced, which will be custodial. Would you stick by him, or drop him?

DerekSprechenZeDick Tue 16-Aug-16 09:29:15

If he least shared with me I'd stand by him 100% grin

specialsubject Tue 16-Aug-16 09:29:43

Drop. It isnt a victimless crime. That money was supposed to pay for health, schools, trivia like that.

And now we get to feed and house this criminal.

RedHelenB Tue 16-Aug-16 09:29:55

Up to your dh surely? Personally , it would alter how I thought of them but depending what they had been like as a friend in the past would depend on how I felt about continuing the friendship in general.

LunaLoveg00d Tue 16-Aug-16 09:31:44

An error of judgement is forgetting to add in interest from one bank account on your self-assessment form, or putting payment into the wrong tax year in error.

Deliberate concealment isn't an error, it's pretty serious fraud. Also an error would be something you do once, not set up a network of overseas accounts to hide your ill gotten gains. Agree with your DH though that friend was stupid. I wouldn't automatically cut off a very long-standing friendship over this especially if the friend is very sorry for what they did and admits it was very wrong. but it would certainly change the friendship.

VladmirsPoutine Tue 16-Aug-16 09:32:09

There's a huge difference between 'sticking' by someone and meeting them for a drink or whatever. In your husband's position I'd meet the friend and leave it at that. It's not as if your husband is planning on bringing the friend sandwiches in prison.

KC225 Tue 16-Aug-16 09:33:14

You cannot seriously call hiding stolen money in International Accounts an error of judgements.

ApocalypseNowt Tue 16-Aug-16 09:33:21

Who is using the phrase 'serious error of judgement'? Is it your DH or the friend (or both)?

Error of judgement sounds to me like it's minimising what's I made an error is trusting that accountant/not checking properly what was going on. Which while silly and still criminal doesn't have the clear intent of opening up bank accounts with the specific aim of defrauding people and stealing lots of cash.

Refusing to own up to your crime and indeed perpetrating that sort of crime in the first place would be a deal breaker for me I think.

SwearyGodmother Tue 16-Aug-16 09:33:56

I don't think friend was "stupid enough to make a serious error of judgment" they were dishonest enough to make considered, actual steps to steal money. I also think that when you defraud HMRC you are stealing from every man, woman and child in the country as the tax you pay goes to public costs/services that we all benefit from. It's even worse that it's deductions from his employees as it will directly affect them in claiming JSA, payment of student loan repayments etc.

I'd not have anything to do with him, and I'd also be fucking furious with my DH if he thought this could be described as "stupid" and "an error of judgment" because it says a lot about his view of the law and of ethics and morals.

I've often dealt with the fallout of these cases when the employees have suffered and have had utterly distraught, jobless people who I can do nothing to help.

BillSykesDog Tue 16-Aug-16 09:36:25

No way. That's stealing three times over, the employees, HMRC and then the rest of the country. And it's 1.2 million. That's not need, it's greed. No way, I'd drop them.

Boogers Tue 16-Aug-16 09:36:31

£1.2m hidden in bank accounts across the world takes time, planning and duplicity on a massive scale. It is not merely a serious error in judgement. For your husband to dismiss it as that is worrying.

LurkingHusband Tue 16-Aug-16 09:37:37

It's even worse that it's deductions from his employees as it will directly affect them in claiming JSA, payment of student loan repayments etc.

Actually it's even worse that that.

If your employer fails to pay your tax and NI to HMRC, then HMRC will come after you for it. Even if you have payslips showing you "paid" it via PAYE.

BillSykesDog Tue 16-Aug-16 09:38:19

He'd also turn you over given the chance. And I would bet my eye teeth that it is not a genuine friendship but one based on your DH's usefulness to him.

WeAreEternal Tue 16-Aug-16 09:48:15

I stood by a friend convicted of fraud by false representation (she had been buying things online then claiming a refund by saying they didn't arrive, Royal Mail investigated, discovered her scam and prosecuted her)
IMO she did not set out to hurt anyone and she was very remorseful.
Honestly I think she didn't really understand how serious it was until she was actually taken to court.
Also the entire value of the things she claimed for were less that £100, so it's not like she was a major criminal enterprise.

I would not stand by someone who had behaved in the way your DHs friend had, he actively committed a huge fraud and the lengths he went to to do so he clearly knew how wrong he was, I doubt he shows much remorse other than for the fact that he has been caught.

YelloDraw Tue 16-Aug-16 09:53:29

If your employer fails to pay your tax and NI to HMRC, then HMRC will come after you for it. Even if you have payslips showing you "paid" it via PAYE

That is just not true.

MardyGrave Tue 16-Aug-16 10:09:45

Can you imagine how stressful the whole experience will have been for those employees? They've probably all been investigated thoroughly to ensure that they aren't 'in' on the scam themselves. What impact will this have on their financial affairs? Any future benefit claims or their credit rating.

I however don't believe crimes like this require custodial sentencing, it requires full and complete compensation to all injured parties. Far too many white collar criminals can return to a life of comfort and begin in business again.

Nataleejah Tue 16-Aug-16 10:10:59

Drop. This is serious, not like selling fake "designer" tat on ebay. This person really knew what he was doing and this isn't victimless.

emotionsecho Tue 16-Aug-16 10:11:54

As others have said that is not an error of judgement or mistake he's a liar and a thief and no, I wouldn't stand by him as I would feel that by doing so I was giving tacit approval of his actions and his lies.

Gottagetmoving Tue 16-Aug-16 10:12:59

If your employer fails to pay your tax and NI to HMRC, then HMRC will come after you for it. Even if you have payslips showing you "paid" it via PAYE

No they don't.
I worked for a boss who did not pay the HMRC. They do not come after you or hold you responsible.

Sparklesilverglitter Tue 16-Aug-16 10:14:35

I don't know really it would depend on the friend tbh.

it's your DH call if he wishes to continue being friends

Floggingmolly Tue 16-Aug-16 10:16:40

If my DH classed that as a "stupid error of judgement"; I'd think considerably less of him too hmm

veryproudvolleyballmum Tue 16-Aug-16 10:16:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LadyGnome Tue 16-Aug-16 10:17:08

It depends on the circumstances. We stuck by a friend who was convicted of benefit fraud because he didn't realise that a personal injury settlement counted towards savings. It hadn't tipped him over the savings limit by much and he hadn't hidden the money - it was sitting in his bank account. It was stupidity on his part not deliberate fraud.

This case sounds different, its a deliberate attempt to defraud the HMRC and consequently everyone who relies on services funded by taxes. I wouldn't trust him ever again.

Eatthecake Tue 16-Aug-16 10:17:14

Surely it's up to your DH if he wants to be friends or not.

For me personally I am not sure, if a friend committed murder Yes Absouletly the friendship would be over but if they committed fraud I honestly don't know I think a lot would depend on which friend it was

veryproudvolleyballmum Tue 16-Aug-16 10:17:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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