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Barnsley Man Jailed After VAT Fraud Conviction

Tuesday October 2 2012

A BARNSLEY man who fraudulently claimed almost £600,000 in VAT repayments after his construction business went bust has been jailed for two years.

Craig Taylor, 44, of Carr House Court, Wortley, was sentenced along with wife Ann, 42, at Sheffield Crown Court.

Both had admitted money laundering after transferring £190,000 to Mrs Taylor's account to protect their money.

Mr Taylor had also pleaded guilty to fraud at an earlier hearing.

The scam was exposed when checks by HMRC showed Mr Taylor had continued to re-claim VAT despite the couple's construction firm, Avalon Construction and Civil Engineering Limited, being wound up in the summer of 2009.

He set up the company in 2006 but after its closure between November 2009 to June 2011 he claimed just short of £590,000 and was repaid about £460,000 from HMRC.

The couple had claimed to be separated during the fraud. But they bought expensive motorbikes and cars as well as going on luxury breaks and holidays, and regularly bought designer jewellery and handbags.

When HMRC officers arrived to arrest the Taylors, Tracey said she was single and did not know where her 'estranged' husband was. Officers found him hiding in the en-suite bathroom.

Judge Simon Lawler, at Friday's sentencing, jailed Mr Taylor for two years, while Mrs Taylor was given 52 weeks in prison suspended for two years and 250 hours of unpaid work.

The court was told how Mr Taylor had made genuine claims before November 2009 and how both he and his wife were of 'good character' and had both served in the army.

Mr Nadim Bashir, defending Mr Taylor had spent nearly ten years in the army and had 'given his best to the army and the country.'

Mr Bashir said the offence was out of character and had arisen due to the pressure of running a 'high risk' business.

A HMRC spokesman said the service intended to reclaim the money.

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Reply Posted by Col on Tuesday October 2 2012 at 15:46
Utter joke .. i'll do 2 years in prison for £250k a year .. !!

Reply Posted by graham on Tuesday October 2 2012 at 15:48
not a bad job that £300 000 a yr any going ps is there a company car and pension scheme