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Gloucestershire businessman who conned taxpayer out of thousands sentenced for VAT fraud

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Written by: Andrew Merrell | Posted 13 February 2018 11:39

Gloucestershire businessman who conned taxpayer out of thousands sentenced for VAT fraud

 

An agricultural supplier and plant hire business owner from Cirencester, who committed a £36,187 VAT fraud, has been sentenced after an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation.

Adrian Tugwell, 47, of Cecily Hill, Cirencester, is the owner of Tugwell Contracting, Tetbury Road, Cirencester.

For five months between May and September 2015 he charged his customers VAT, showed it on their invoices and then presented his accountant with fake invoices, recording the supplies as zero-rated with no VAT charged.

He lied to HMRC about the amount he should have paid by submitting false returns, meaning he underpaid VAT, received repayments and pocketed the money.

Colin Spinks, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Adrian Tugwell blatantly defrauded VAT from his customers and pocketed the money. He knew what he was doing was wrong and now has a criminal record. It is simply not acceptable to steal from honest UK taxpayers.

“HMRC will continue to pursue those criminals who attack the tax system and we ask anyone with information about suspected VAT fraud to report it online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Tugwell was interviewed by HMRC criminal investigators in August 2016 and charged in July 2017, pleading guilty at Gloucester Crown Court in December to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT, contrary to Section 72 of the Value Added Tax Act 1994.

He has now been sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, and ordered to undertake 250 hours of unpaid work.

Adrian Tugwell has repaid the tax he evaded.

 

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