BUY FREEDOM; Super-Rich Tax Dodgers Given Immunity Deals to Avoid Prosecution
Byline: JAMES LYONS DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR firstname.lastname@example.org
TAX dodgers caught stashing cash in Swiss bank accounts will not be jailed after a deal was struck with the revenue.
The taxman has been probing 6,000 super-wealthy cheats - but just one of them has been convicted of fraud.
The rest have been offered immunity from prosecution if they settle up and pay a hefty fine.
It comes despite Chancellor George Osborne promising in August last year: "We will be as tough on the richest who evade tax as we are on those who cheat on benefits."
Labour MP John Mann said yesterday the deal gave a "green light to tax evasion".
He added: "If it was benefit cheats they would be locked up. The same should happen to rich tax dodgers. Everyone else is expected to pay their dues. These wealthy people are allowed to get away with it.
"HM Revenue and Customs should release their names. We are entitled to know who is not paying their dues. It is one law for the rich and another for everyone else."
The swindlers were on a list of people with secret HSBC bank accounts in Switzerland handed over by IMF chief Christine Lagarde more than two years ago when she was France's finance minister. …