The owners of a haulage and heavy plant hire business site have been jailed for £4million VAT fraud.
An HMRC investigation found that Donald Macleod, Arthur Spring, Edward Corr and William Gallacher used their four businesses to hide millions of pounds of customer VAT payments. They manipulated the accounts of their companies and used false business bank accounts to siphon off the money. They even used a deceased colleague’s account to launder the cash.
During the Fraud Investigation HMRC offices searched 15 domestic and business premises across London and South England. Property was seized including computers, mobile phones, business records and £37,500 in cash.
All four men were charged with cheating the public revenue and received prison sentences of up to 7 years. Confiscation orders were also imposed to reclaim any criminal profits.
McLeod, Spring and Corr have all been disqualified from being company directors for 10 years.
The case shows that HMRC still regard the investigation and prosecution of businesses that commit VAT fraud as a priority and are able to commit significant resources to such cases.
Experience though shows that HMRC on occasion make mistakes in the way that it carries out investigations and can also come to incorrect conclusions from the evidence.
Commenting on the case, Slater and Gordon's Senior Business Crime Lawyer said, “These are complicated cases where HMRC are required to protect the public revenue. It is important that any one subject to HMRC proceedings takes expert advice as the earliest opportunity.”
At Slater and Gordon we have over 30 years’ experience in the field of business crime and are independently recognised as market leaders. We can assist if you:
• are subject to an investigation by HMRC;
• believe that you may be at risk of being prosecuted by HMRC; or
• have been charged with an offence and are facing court proceedings
For more information or legal advice please call Slater and Gordon on freephone 0800 916 9054 or contact us online and we will call you back.
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