Pen­sioner’s three years in jail for role in £1m tax fraud

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

A PEN­SIONER from Stoke Po­ges is the fi­nal mem­ber of a seven-strong gang who tried to steal more than £1m in tax to be sen­tenced.

John Fara­day, 71, from Stoke Po­ges, was part of a na­tion­wide gang which was in­ves­ti­gated by HM Rev­enue and Cus­toms (HMRC) af­ter it at­tempted to sub­mit fraud­u­lent VAT re­pay­ment claims. He has been sen­tenced to three years and four months im­pris­on­ment for his part in the crime.

The gang hi­jacked the iden­ti­ties of five in­di­vid­u­als and set up eight fake com­pa­nies. It pro­duced bo­gus in­voices and con­tracts be­tween each of the com­pa­nies, some of which claimed to be buy­ing and sell­ing tele­vi­sion broad­cast rights for mar­tial arts events, in or­der to gen­er­ate fraud­u­lent VAT re­pay­ments.

Be­tween Oc­to­ber 2010 and Septem­ber 2012 the seven men, in­clud­ing Fara­day, piggy-backed gen­uine cage fight­ing events, pro­duced phoney pro­mo­tional ma­te­rial and used the names of well­known fight­ers to en­hance the au­then­tic­ity of their com­pa­nies.

An­thony Swar­brick, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of the Fraud In­ves­ti­ga­tion Ser­vice, HMRC, said: “This was a fraud driven purely by greed with the sin­gle aim of ex­tort­ing money which should have been spent on vi­tal pub­lic ser­vices. This whole set up was a ruse with the sole pur­pose of steal­ing from the tax­payer.

“Now all seven mem­bers of this gang are pay­ing the price for their fraud. We will look to strip them of their crim­i­nal gains, and the mes­sage is clear – tax fraud doesn’t pay.”

Con f is­cat ion pro­ceed­ings will fol­low to re­coup the pro­ceeds of their crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity.

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