A co-owner of a chain of children’s nurseries has been sentenced to five and a half years in prison for tax fraud, after stealing £950,000 of PAYE tax deducted from his employees’ salaries.
Hampshire based Michael Everard Scott, aged 63, deducted Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions from his staff’s pay-packets: but did not pay it over to HM Revenue & Customs. He also failed to contribute the connected employers’ NIC. The taxman began a criminal tax investigation when ex-employees queried gaps in their Tax and NI records. The tax investigators proved that Scott (who also goes by the alias Stuart Wilson) had cheated the Exchequer and some 180 staff – between April 2007 and November 2011.
According to HMRC, Scott owns a vast property portfolio and a private aircraft.
Scott was charged with “offences contrary to section 1 of the Fraud Act 2006”, and found guilty by a jury, and then jailed for five and a half years. On sentencing His Honour Judge Henry said: “This is a cheat of your fellow citizens, but the group you put at substantial risk is your staff. Your actions put in jeopardy their rights and entitlements.” His ex-wife was also originally arrested and charged too, but she was acquitted during the trial.
HMRC is assisting the victims, and has started confiscation action to recover the proceeds of these crimes.
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