A bookkeeper, from Northern Ireland, who tried to escape arrest by hiding in her wardrobe, has been jailed for fraud.
Donna Magee, 44-years-old, from Dungannon, was arrested by HMRC in her home in February 2012 while officers investigated her fictitious business. When HMRC officers raided her address they found Magee hiding in a wardrobe.
HMRC had investigated Magee’s affairs and uncovered VAT invoices, bank statements and computer records that Magee had used to retrieve over £140,000 in fraudulent VAT repayments for the construction of fictitious business premises.
HMRC’s assistant director of criminal investigation, Mike Parkinson, released the following statement: ““As a book-keeper, Magee knew full well she was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of what she wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer. She manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies with the sole purpose of lining her own pockets.
“This investigation shows that tax fraudsters have no place to hide and we will not stop in our pursuit of those involved in this type of criminal activity.”
Magee pleaded guilty to nine counts of dishonestly making false representation with the intention of making a gain in relation to VAT repayment claims under the Fraud Act. She was sentenced to nine months in prison and a further nine months on licence.
VAT Fraud is serious. If you have received a VAT Fraud enquiry from HMRC then you should contact a professional for the cardinal advice you need.
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