Preston fraudster wins £70,000 in top Manchester poker tournament - then gets it confiscated by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs

Adam Lulat has had his poker winnings confiscated by HMRC
Adam Lulat has had his poker winnings confiscated by HMRC

An international crime gang member must repay £70,000 after winning a poker tournament.

Adam Lulat, of Hawkhurst Road, Preston, was jailed for 28 months in 2015 for his involvement in a £40m money laundering scam and a major pan-European VAT fraud, after a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation.

The six man crime gang were jailed for a total of 25 years and 10 months, and ordered to repay £590,000.

Lulat, 26, was ordered to repay a nominal £1 due to a lack of assets.

But HMRC brought Lulat back to court after he won £68,930 at a poker tournament held in Manchester in March this year.

Lulat was ordered to handover all his winnings, as well as £2,840 held in a personal bank account, within three months or face another 15-months in jail.

Debbie Porter, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Lulat thought he’d aced the tournament but we had the better hand in the end.

"We will not allow tax fraudsters like Lulat to enjoy their winnings until they’ve repaid what they’ve stolen from the taxpayer.

“HMRC will relentlessly pursue criminals for their ill-gotten gains.

"We will not go away – we will continue to peruse convicted tax fraudsters to ensure they pay what they owe. Anyone with information about tax crime should contact us on 0800 788 887.”

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) discovered Lulat was a part of a gang that worked for other crime groups moving approximately £40million of criminal cash through multiple bank accounts in the UK and other countries between 1 September 2010 and 30 November 2011.

They were also behind a separate VAT fraud and HMRC investigators tracked their activities across Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic.

They fabricated businesses to make fraudulent VAT repayment claims against multiple EU member states using a complex web of transactions.

Co-ordinated action with European enforcement agencies exposed the gang’s use of bank accounts and money service bureaux to launder the money across borders before the cash was withdrawn for the gang to pocket.

Anyone with information regarding fraud can contact the new HMRC Fraud hotline on 0800 788 887 or report it online via: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm