VAT fraudster jailed after extradition from France

A VAT fraudster, who fled the UK four years ago has been extradited from France and is now starting a 6 year prison term.

Mark Anthony McGovern, aged 49 from Dorset, was under a criminal investigation for tax fraud. He pleaded guilty to laundering £278,340.87 of criminal proceeds in April 2008, following a wider HMRC tax investigation into VAT fraud.  But he then jumped bail before he was sentenced.   He was sentenced to 2 years imprisonment in his absence; and a confiscation order was made ordering him to pay £278,340.87 by April 2009, or his sentence would be increased to 6 years – and he’d still have to pay the money to HMRC.

Relentless in pursuit, the taxman issued a European Arrest Warrant for him.  He was finally tracked down by the French police near Montpellier this March, arrested and extradited back to the UK.  HMRC continue to seek recovery of the money.

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