The vendor sold computers to the defendant, intending not to account to the commissioners for the VAT. The seller went into liquidation, and the liquidator sought payment. The purchaser had been unaware of the intended fraud and resisted payment.
Held: The fraud did not make the contract unenforcable by the liquidator. The fraudulent intent was too far removed from the substance of the contract to taint it. Money received by a seller would not be held in trust for the Commissioners, and use of the money for other purposes did not conflict wit the tax payers duty later to account for an equivalent sum. The contract itself was lawful.
Mr Justice Field
 EWHC 231 (QB), Times 27-Feb-2004, Gazette 25-Mar-2004,  BVC 779,  2 Lloyds Rep 92,  STC 1535,  STI 497,  BTC 5720
England and Wales
Cited – Holman v Johnson 5-Jul-1775
ex turpi causa non oritur actio
Mansfield LCJ set out the principle of ex turpi causa non oritur actio: ‘The objection, that a contract is immoral or illegal as between plaintiff and defendant, sounds at all times very ill in the mouth of the defendant. It is not for his sake, . .
Cited – Tinsley v Milligan HL 28-Jun-1993
Two women parties used funds generated by a joint business venture to buy a house in which they lived together. It was vested in the sole name of the plaintiff but on the understanding that they were joint beneficial owners. The purpose of the . .
Cited – Hall v Woolston Hall Leisure Limited CA 23-May-2000
The fact that an employment contract was tainted with illegality of which the employee was aware, did not deprive the employee of the possibility of claiming rights which were due to her under a statute which created rights associated with but not . .
Cited – Skilton v Sullivan CA 18-Mar-1994
The seller of a quantity of Koi carp sent the buyer an invoice for trout. The supply of Koi carp is chargeable to VAT but the supply of trout is not. When the seller sued for the price, he was met with a plea that the contract was illegal as being a . .
Cited – Miller v Karlinski CA 1945
It was too plain for argument that a contract of employment under which the employee was paid a salary and also ‘expenses’ that included the income tax payable on the salary was against public policy and therefore unenforceable. . .
Cited – Napier v National Business Agency Ltd CA 1951
The plaintiff sought to sue for wrongful dismissal on a contract of employment under which he was paid andpound;13 salary per week and andpound;6 ‘expenses’, when his expenses could never exceed andpound;1 per week.
Held: The parties had made . .
Cited – St John Shipping Corporation v Joseph Rank Limited 1956
The defendants held a bill of lading for part of the cargo carried on the plaintiffs’ vessel from Mobile, Alabama, to Birkenhead. The vessel was over laden and the plaintiffs were guilty of an offence under the 1932 Act. The defendants relied on the . .
Cited – Pearce v Brooks 1866
The contract was one for the hire of an ornamental brougham to a prostitute which was supplied with knowledge that it would be used ‘as part of her display’. She returned it in a damaged condition, and refused to make any payments under the contract . .
Cited – Scott v Brown, Doering, McNab and Co 1892
The plaintiff sought rescission of a contract for the purchase of shares, but failed because the contract had been entered into with the sole object of rigging the market by inducing the public to believe that there was a real market for the shares . .
Cited – Alexander v Rayson CA 1936
The action was for arrears of rent. The evidence at trial was that the plaintiff granted a lease to the defendant at a rent of andpound;1200 and contracted that certain services in connection with the flat would be performed. The plaintiff sent the . .
Cited – Kearley v Thompson 1890
The plaintiff could claim a locus poenitentiae on the grounds of repentance because its confession to the fraud was the result of the frustration by others of its fraudulent purpose. Recovery under a contract performed unlawfully was barred once it . .
Cited – SQ v RQ and Another FD 31-Jul-2008
The home in which the family had lived was held in the name of a brother. Each party claimed that it was held in trust for them. Chancery proceedings had been consolidated into these ancillary relief applications. The home had been in the husband’s . .
These lists may be incomplete.
Updated: 12 January 2021; Ref: scu.193579