HMRC’s latest tax prosecution press release, issued this week, is titled “Lights out for electrician jailed for VAT fraud”; and concerns a sparky from Surrey who had sent in fraudulent VAT repayment claims for £1.5 million.
Melvyn Horton, aged 58, was jailed this week: receiving a prison sentence of 3 years and 8 months.
Horton faked invoices, using the stolen identities of 7 companies, so that his business (Cobham Electrical Ltd) could send in fraudulent VAT returns to HM Revenue & Customs from 2009 to 2013. Horton falsely received £1,533,598 in VAT refunds.
Horton was arrested at his home in Walton-On-Thames in June 2013. In January 2014 he pleaded guilty to furnishing a false document (contrary to the VAT Act 1994), and in May 2014 he pleaded guilty to money laundering (contrary to Section 327 (1) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002). As well as his custodial sentence Horton was disqualified from being a company director for 15 years; and HMRC have started confiscation proceedings.
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