A Belfast-based builder billed VAT but bunged it in his back pocket instead of paying it over to the taxman. But despite being found guilty of tax fraud this week he avoided a custodial sentence.
John McDowell, aged 56, ran Aspect Construction. He charged clients the correct amount of VAT for construction work he carried out, but kept £73,000 of it – instead of paying it over to HM Revenue & Customs. He was found guilty of tax fraud and was sentenced to 18 months – suspended for two years – at Laganside Court.
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