They have all been bailed until 5 September to appear at Birmingham Crown Court.
The 13 men and three women were arrested in September 2009 following dawn raids by HMRC criminal investigation officers investigating a multi-million pound fraud believed to be operating across the West Midlands, Staffordshire, London and Manchester
HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation Adrian Farley said: “Today 16 people have been charged linked to what we believe is a fraud resulting in over £6m being stolen from public funds. We are committed to bringing such cases to the courts and depriving those involved of the proceeds of their crime.”
During the arrests in September 2009, cash totalling £130,004 was seized - £91,600 from nine sites in the West Midlands and £38,444 from two sites in the Manchester area. A further £2,000 in dollars and euros were seized. In addition paperwork including bank accounts and computers, Class A drugs and associated equipment – scales and dealer apparatus - were also seized in the West Midlands. More than 40 search warrants were executed at residential and business premises in the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Nottingham, London and Manchester.
The defendants were summonsed to appear on charges of Conspiracy to Cheat the Revenue of VAT, Income tax, National Insurance Contributions and corporation tax and money laundering offences. They include:
West Midlands -
- Bernard Harper (date of birth 1/4/56) of 28 Causey Farm Road, Halesowen, West Midlands.
- Craig Ross Hill (DOB 06.06.64) of 1 Raby Close, Tividale, West Midlands
- Stuart Henderson Barrett (DOB 20/7/57) of 47 Hillbank, Tividale, West Midlands
- Steven Lee Barrett (DOB 9/11/79) of 35 Woodside Way, Walsall
- Steven Jeremy Bache (DOB 31/1/62) of Cornerstone, 1 Leys Close, Stourbridge
- Anthony Smith (DOB 10/6/78) of 173 Mill Street, Brierley Hill, West Midlands
- Kelly Nicholls (DOB 30/5/78) of 173 Mill Street Brierley Hill, West Midlands
- John Caulfield (DOB 3/5/72) of 29 Barton Lodge Road, Hall Green, Birmingham
- Ian Siviter (DOB 8/10/75) of 149 Regent Road, Tividale, West Midlands
- Susan Coussens (DOB 29/1/59) of 1 Chestnut Close, Norton, Stourbridge, West Midlands
- Simon Clifford Davies (DOB 12/5/68) of 205 Loxley Close, Churchill, Redditch, Worcestershire
- Neil Hughes (DOB 26/9/65) of 7 Linthurst Newtown, Blackwell Bromsgrove, Worcestershire
- Richard Ruddick (DOB 28/5/69) of no fixed abode
- Gary Lowndes (DOB 24/8/60) of 27 Weeping Cross, Stafford
- Helga Lowndes (DOB 29/12/65) of 27 Weeping Cross, Stafford
- John Beatty (DOB 11/7/68) of162 Western Road, Crookes, Sheffield
Investigations are continuing in relation to a number of other people arrested.