A West Yorkshire based African IT repairman fraudulently reclaimed £132,000 of VAT. He was arrested in Scotland last year and then sentenced in Cumbria last Friday – to 2 years in prison for tax fraud.
South African Eloff Groenewald, aged 51, set up Springbok Logistics Ltd in Halifax, as a courier service. When that business failed to take off he changed it to an Information Technology repair business. He registered the company for VAT and sent in false VAT repayment claims for £132,000. When HMRC tried to check his paperwork Groenewald supplied fake invoices, and flew himself and his family back to South Africa. He came back to Britain in May last year and was arrested by HMRC criminal tax investigators at his new home in Paisley, Renfrewshire. He said he knew he was committing a tax crime, but was only “borrowing” the money – and intended to pay it back once his business had begun to make a profit.
He was charged with 6 charges of tax fraud and one charge of producing false invoices. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 2 years in prison for the tax fraud and 6 months in prison for the false invoicing – to run concurrently. He was also disqualified from being a company director for 5 years.
Lynam Tax Investigation Experts have a vast amount of practical experience in managing serious tax fraud investigations. If you are worried about a tax investigation we can advise you on the best course of action. If appropriate, we can help you manage any necessary disclosures. If you are facing criminal charges we can help you obtain first class legal representation, in order to obtain the optimum outcome for you, your business and your family.
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