Gift shop owner is jailed
THE owner of a string of gift shops has been jailed for dodging £75,000 in VAT.
Claire Marie Greenall, 41, ran three stores in the north west, including one in Wigan, all called The Personal Touch. They sold fashion accessories and gifts.
But HM Revenue and Customs found Greenall deliberately hid sales to evade paying VAT between 2011 and 2015, despite making sales worth £686,203.
Investigators revealed how Greenall, owner of a shop in The Galleries shopping complex in Wigan as well as others in Cumbria and Blackburn, had suppressed her sales.
A forensic accountant established the scale of the fraud with an examination of her business records.
Greenall, of Rosedale Avenue in Blackpool, pleaded guilty to four VAT fraud offences. She was jailed for two years and three months at Preston Crown Court yesterday.
Sandra Smith, of HMRC, said: “Evading tax is an insult to honest taxpayers.”