Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Money Man Is Cleared of Fraud; Accountant Found Not Guilty of Scam

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Money Man Is Cleared of Fraud; Accountant Found Not Guilty of Scam

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY

CLEARED of any involvement in a gangland tax evasion scam, accountant Mehmood Mohammed today spoke of his delight at proving his innocence.

Prosecutors had claimed Mr Mohammed fiddled the books to help John Henry Sayers deprive the taxman of more than pounds 200,000.

But jurors found the accountant not guilty of any wrongdoing, and after walking free from court he said he was "hugely delighted".

It is three-and-a-half years since Mr Mohammed, who suffers from medical problems including a heart condition, was charged along with Sayers and others with tax evasion.

The money man, who has an accountancy firm on Cedar Road, Fenham, said he felt vindicated after hearing the not guilty verdicts.

He said: "At the outset, can I say I am hugely delighted with the outcome of my trial.

"I have from the very beginning maintained my innocence and, as emerged during the course of the trial, I fully co-operated with the investigating officers.

"I am gratified the jury have recognised and acknowledged this, particularly given how quickly they returned their verdicts."

Sayers was jailed for four years for his part in cheating the taxman out of money owing from his pubs empire.

Prosecutors had alleged Mr Mohammed made false declarations to the tax authorities. During his trial the married father-of-three said at the time his systems may have been inadequate but denied any criminality.

Now he says he has completely revamped his business, which continues to operate in the West End. Mr Mohammed said: "Following the investigation I now appreciate the systems I had in operation at that time left a little to be desired.

"Since then I have completely reorganised my practice and am pleased to say my business has gone from strength to strength.

"I greatly appreciate the unswerving support I have received from my clients and look forward to my practice continuing to provide the best possible service for them. …

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