Addresses searched in accountancy tax investigation

exterior shot of Apostle Accounting office building in StowmarketImage source, Stephen Huntley/BBC
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Apostle Accounting is currently under police investigation

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Properties in Suffolk and Cambridgeshire have been searched as part of a fraud investigation into Stowmarket-based firm Apostle Accounting.

Police officers from the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) conducted pre-planned searches of a commercial unit and two residential homes in Stowmarket as well as an office in Peterborough on Tuesday.

Documents and digital devices have been seized for further examination but no arrests have been made.

Apostle is currently under investigation over a tax rebate scheme that left hundreds of people out of pocket.

Image source, Anonymous
Image caption,

Hundreds of clients of Apostle Accounting say they have received repayment demands off HMRC

The firm promised to help people claim tax relief for work expenses and sent off clients' claims for them, and thousands of pounds in rebates were paid out.

But hundreds of clients were then written to by HM Revenue and Customs which said they were not entitled to the money and wanted the cash back. It left many owing significant sums of money.

"These searches form part of our investigation into reports of potential fraud, and we continue to follow several lines of inquiry," said Al Al-Bassam, from ERSOU’s Regional Organised Crime Unit.

"Our teams are working closely with partner agencies to establish if any offences have been committed, and we would encourage anyone who thinks they may be a victim of fraud to report it."

Those who have already made complaints to Action Fraud about Apostle Accounting were sent an email this morning from ERSOU informing them of the raids and that there were currently no further updates about the investigation.

In previous statements issued through its lawyers, Apostle Accounting has denied any errors and said claims against it were "unfounded".

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