An HMRC investigation found that Keiron Edmondson, of Blackburn, produced fake invoices between two businesses to fraudulently reclaim more than £30,000 in VAT
HMRC discovered that Edmondson submitted 12 invoices for VAT for transfers from his company, Blocks Toy Store, to his wife’s businesses, submitting the forms through the firm he was working for while he completed his accountancy qualifications. He then reclaimed £30,952 in VAT.
In an attempt to disguise the fraud, he then moved money between his and his wife’s bank accounts on multiple occasions.
Edmondson admitted VAT fraud and money laundering at Preston Crown Court and was sentenced on 11 October 2018 to 12 months for VAT offences and eight months for money laundering, suspended for 18 months. He is also required to complete 200 hours of unpaid community work within the next 12 months.
Tim Atkins, assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: 'Edmondson abused his financial knowledge, his employer’s trust and the public purse. He cooked up a batch of fake invoices to steal from the taxpayer, and now has a criminal record to show for his greed.
'VAT fraud steals money from vital public services such as schools and hospitals - this money is equivalent to a year of dialysis treatment for a kidney patient on the NHS. I urge anyone with information about VAT fraud to contact HMRC online or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.'
Report by James Bunney