Businessman jailed over £1.3 tax fraud
A businessman has been jailed for more than four years over a £1.3 million tax scam.
Company director Paul Marsh attempted to dupe the taxman as he battled to keep another struggling business afloat.
Marsh made three fraudulent VAT declarations to HMRC for his company Draco Consulting Services which reduced the amount of tax owed by a whopping £1.3m.
He used the money to prop up his other company, Marlin Resources UK Ltd, which was in financial difficulty.
Marsh, of Lickey Close, Sedgley, owned both companies based in St John's Road, Dudley, which provided payroll services to self-employed tradesmen working in the construction industry.
But he was rumbled following an investigation by officers from HMRC and was jailed for four years and three months at Birmingham Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.
Investigators uncovered evidence from the bank accounts of both companies proving that Marlin Resources UK Ltd hadn’t paid all of the VAT it owed, and that Draco Consulting Services Ltd was never in a position financially to pay the tax it owed. The total value of the fraud was £1,337,311.
Although both companies went into voluntary liquidation in December 2008, investigations discovered that £150,000 had been transferred to another company, which Marsh was also a director of, HMRC said.
Richard Young, assistant director at HMRC's Fraud Investigation Service said: “Marsh was naive to think he could get away with this fraud.
"He was using the tax system like a private bank loan, to prop up his second business, which was struggling financially.
"By depriving public services of vital funding, financially he had an unfair advantage over honest competitors. HMRC is levelling the playing field for honest businesses and making sure that crime doesn’t pay.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime, it affects us all."