Carpenter, from Barnstaple, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment and has also been barred from being a company director for six years
Trading as Accountancy Services, Carpenter developed a hands-free megaphone solution and became the sole director of Voicethrower – a company specifically designed to market the product.
Over the course of five years (2007–2012), Carpenter submitted fraudulent VAT claims of over £95,000 to HMRC – £50,435.85 for Voicethrower and £44.594.15 for Accountancy Services. Carpenter received a repayment of £78,583.
HMRC said they became suspicious of his repayments and requested invoices, which Carpenter claimed had been destroyed accidentally. However, these invoices didn’t actually exist.
Carpenter also confessed that the majority of the expenditure hadn’t even been made.
He was charged in December 2013 with two counts of fraud, pleading guilty in court leading to his sentencing.
During the court proceedings, Judge Gilbert QC, stated that Carpenter being an accountant was a “serious aggravating feature”.
“This was not fraudulent from the outset but was carried out over a long period of time. You are an accountant and these offences involved fraudulent VAT returns which were professionally planned for your own benefit over four and a half years,” he said.
Colin Spinks Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, also added that Carpenter’s position of trust meant that he was mindful of the fact that he was breaking the law.
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