Harlow electrician jailed for £210,000 tax scam

Crime / Thu 28th Mar 2019 at 10:59am

A HARLOW electrician who stole more than £210,000 in a tax scam, has been jailed for two years after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Michael Gough, 62, the sole director of Plug Check Ltd, was caught fraudulently reducing his VAT bills and making false claims for VAT repayments in order to steal £217,038.

HMRC officers were unable to verify a £12,000 VAT repayment claim and when questioned, Gough said “there were errors” on the returns and that he had “made up the figures”.

Officers contacted Gough’s accountant who provided documentation that proved he had been lying to HMRC since 2011, submitting 28 returns that generated £124,471 in fraudulent VAT repayments. He also pocketed £92,567 which he should have paid over to HMRC.

Matt Palmer, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Gough thought he could steal from the public purse without anyone noticing and even when confronted by officers from HMRC he still refused to take the situation seriously. This money is equivalent to the starting salaries of nine nurses in London for a year.

“If you believe someone is committing tax fraud, please report them to HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Gough pleaded guilty on 19 February 2019 at Chelmsford Magistrates Court. He was jailed for two years and banned for being a company director for ten years, at Chelmsford Crown Court on 25 March 2019.

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