Electrician ordered to repay stolen money
An electrical contractor, Ross Elliott, who was found guilty of tax fraud and jailed for three years in January 2013, has been ordered to pay back £372,000 or face an extra two years in jail.
The contractor who worked for a large number of building companies submitted more than 500 false purchase invoices between January 2008 and October 2010 to HMRC in order to claim VAT fraudulently. The contractor also submitted fake sales invoices alleging he had carried out work for private homeowners.
Adrian Farley, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said:
‘Elliott stole this substantial sum of money purely to line his own pockets. His abuse of the VAT repayment system was carried out over a sustained period of time and involved a high degree of planning. Today’s hearing will serve as a stern reminder that action does not stop with a prison sentence; we will pursue every avenue to ensure money stolen is reclaimed for the taxpayer and public finances.’
An HMRC campaign which gave electricians an opportunity to regularise their tax affairs expired on 15 May 2012. Whilst the official time limit for taking part in the plan has now passed, electricians who need to regularise their tax affairs should make arrangements to do so as soon as possible and will still benefit from lower penalties than if HMRC comes to them first.