December 5 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
A company director stole more than £73,000 by faking invoices for fraudulent VAT repayments, a court has heard.
Simon Jones, of Low Road, Great Glemham, near Saxmundham, was sentenced following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The 53-year-old, who traded as Conven Ltd, exported hardwood and veneers to furniture manufacturers in Vietnam.
He used the details of legitimate companies to create fake invoices, which enabled him to submit claims for VAT refunds to which he was not entitled, the court was told.
The fraud was uncovered when HMRC officers checked Jones’ business records and found that 18 invoices he used to make VAT repayment claims were false.
It was alleged that between April 2010 and January 2011 Jones made four fraudulent claims totalling £73,555.
Jones, who is now unemployed, was charged on October 29 last year with VAT fraud.
He pleaded guilty to four VAT fraud offences at a hearing on July 16 and was sentenced on Friday to 24 weeks in prison, suspended for one year. He will also have to complete 200 hours community service.
Speaking after the case, Paul Barton, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: “This was a blatant fraud set up to steal from HMRC and the tax-paying public.
“Our message is clear – if you choose to defraud the tax system and pursue this type of crime, we will track you down.”