Fraudster gets jail sentence for £1m scam

A building boss has been jailed for 18 months after a £1m VAT fraud.

An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officials discovered that Stuart Cleveland Price, (48), from Dorset, had faked invoices to reclaim VAT he wasn’t entitled to. Based on his repayment claims, the investigators expected to find invoices for more than £9m. Instead, only a fraction of that total appeared in his trading records.
John Cooper, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC,
said Price, who was a director of three building companies, committed fraud over a number of years.

“When he was asked for documentation to support the repayment claims, he produced bank statements that had been doctored with amounts that did not add up. He also provided invoices that had genuine headings but where the details were false.

Price’s scam came to a halt when revenue officers raided his home and business address in June 2011 and removed his records. They found he had traded for a number of years before he started to submit fraudulent VAT repayment claims that his companies were not entitled to. 

HMRC will seek to recover the stolen money through a confiscation hearing.