17 years jail for tax fraudster: 12 Associates go down too

A Birmingham businessman has been given one of the longest sentences for fraud in UK criminal history as the ring master of a £34,000,000 tax fraud.  A dozen of his associates have also been convicted for their part in the tax evasion scam.  Ten have already been sentenced and two are now awaiting sentence.

Thomas Scragg, aged 56, of Hockley Heath, Solihull, was jailed for 17 years: the 2nd longest jail term in the annals of British white-collar crime trials.  Scragg’s business, Moya Payroll, managed wages for other construction firms.  Thomas Scragg used Moya Payroll to siphon £26,000,000 of PAYE taxes, between 2002 and 2007.  His company also failed to account properly for VAT.

Scragg was jailed for 13 years in November 2010 for conspiracy to cheat Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and was given a further four years for other tax fraud crimes in March 2011.

A dozen other men have been convicted for their parts in this massive tax fiddle.

Scragg’s co-defendant – Paul Phillips (aged 60) from Ashbourne, Derbyshire – was jailed for nine years for his part in tax scam.

Reporting restrictions were only lifted this week, after the conviction of brothers Carl (aged 49) and Anthony Johnson (aged 51) both of Wolverhampton, for money-laundering for Scragg.  Thomas Scragg had paid them £2.4million for their part in his tax evasion schemes.  They will be sentenced at a later date.

Nine other men have been convicted in connection to these tax offences.

Mark Kenny (50), of Streetly; Mark Harris (31), of Wolverhampton; and Sital Sheamar (45), of Coseley, West Midlands; were all charged with: conspiracy to defraud Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs; conspiracy to pervert the course of justice; and money laundering.  All three were jailed in March this year: Harris for 18 months, Kenny for 14 months and Sheamar for three and a half years.

Another four men were found guilty of conspiracy to cheat HMRC: David Wilson-Gill (40) of Ormskirk, Lancashire, got four years in prison; Andrew Savin (47) of Yardley, Birmingham, got five years; and Alfred Namutulo (59) of Sutton Coldfield, got six years in prison.  Steven Oakley (56) of Haverhill, Suffolk, was given a suspended sentence.

Another two men each got two and a half years prison sentences for money laundering connected to Scragg’s tax evasion: George White (64) of Droitwich, and Bruce Hartle (54) of Great Barr.

The Head of the West Midlands Regional Asset Recovery Team, Detective Inspector Chris Berrow, said “We will continue to use powers derived from the Proceeds of Crime Act to strip these criminals of their ill-gotten gains.”

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