TWO brothers have been sentenced for defrauding HM Revenue and Custom of almost £175,000 - while one of them worked in a HMRC call centre.

Shapal Yaqoob, 35, of Woodside Drive, Bingley, ran a car sales company and submitted false information to HMRC to steal £174,500 in VAT.

Investigators found he under declared business earnings to evade paying VAT between February 2008 and May 2015.

His brother, Efzal Yaqoob, 34, of Whitby Road, Girlington, worked as a call centre advisor for HMRC at the time, and helped him launder more than £21,000 of the stolen money.

Shapal Yaqoob ran a business called Evolution Cars from his Bingley home and an address on Whitby Road, selling cars through online auction sites.

He lied to HMRC about how much money he made to steal VAT, and also evaded paying around £7,000 in income tax.

Efzal Yaqoob laundered £21,630 of the stolen VAT through his personal bank account between July 2012 and August 2014. He had worked for HMRC for nine years, and resigned three months after his arrest in June 2015.

Shapal admitted VAT and income tax fraud at Bradford Crown Court on December 1, 2017, and was sentenced to 22 months in prison, suspended for two years, and also ordered to undertake 300 hours of unpaid work, at the same court on July 15, 2019.

Efzal admitted money laundering at Bradford Crown Court on April 26 this year, and was sentenced to six months jail, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

Eden Noblett, assistant director of HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service, said: “These men were stealing and laundering money which should have been funding public services.

"This is theft from the taxpayer and undermines legitimate traders.

“There is no question Efzal should have known better than to think he could get away with laundering stolen money.

“We will continue to pursue criminals who think tax fraud is acceptable. We encourage anyone with information about tax crime to report it to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Tax fraud can also be reported online at