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News - 14 January 2013

Pensioner convicted for anti-snoring VAT scam

A pensioner from Leeds who set up fake companies claiming to sell anti-snoring devices has been jailed for £280,000 VAT fraud.

The 68 year old was caught after HMRC officers found that a significant number of his company registrations were linked to the same product, an anti-snoring device called “The Snorestopper”. Officers discovered that all of Newton’s businesses were bogus and had been set up solely to steal tax. He had registered company names to mailbox addresses in Wakefield, London and Leeds but was living at his luxury apartment in Marbella.

Over a period of four years he made over 100 false claims for VAT refunds to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). He used the money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including taking expensive holidays and maintaining a luxury apartment in one of Spain’s most sought after golf resorts.

Tonmoy Kumar, Manager of the Accounts Department of ABDS comments:
“HMRC staff are trained to look for unusual trading patterns and once suspicions had been raised it was only a matter of time before his attempts to fraudulently claim VAT refunds were exposed.


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