A businesswoman, banned from being a company director, has been jailed after she stole more than £158,000 from her employees’ tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC) and pocketed a further £141,500 in unpaid VAT.
Valerie Windsor, 54, from Peterborough, helped set up an IT company that provided software products for businesses. She used the names of other people she knew on company records in an attempt to get around the directorship ban, but was caught out after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) checked the records.
HMRC officers found that Windsor, through the Peterborough-based company, Object Laboratories International Limited, had deducted Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and NIC from her employees’ wages but failed to pay it to HMRC. When officers contacted Windsor to check the records in June 2013, she initially lied, claiming that the company was not yet trading. However, after officers made further enquiries, they discovered the company had been trading since 2008 and had four employees.
Richard Wentel, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“Windsor had already been determined unfit to be a company director and the fact she then shamelessly stole her employees’ tax and National Insurance to fund her own lifestyle, shows how true this was. Her employees had tax deducted from their wages and shown on their payslips but were unaware that the money was never declared or paid to HMRC.
"In addition, failing to register for VAT gave the company an unfair advantage over competitors and other honest businesses who pay what is due. This fraudulent and criminal behaviour is never acceptable and HMRC will work to bring to justice anyone involved in this type of criminality. Anyone with information about suspected fraud can contact our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Valerie Windsor pleaded guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of Income Tax and VAT, making or supplying articles for use in a fraud (False P60’s) and managing a company when disqualified as a director at Peterborough Crown Court on 11 January 2016. She was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison at the same court yesterday (Monday 22 February 2016). She was also disqualified from acting as a company director for ten years.
Windsor’s business partner, Gerard Boucher, 60, from Sunbury-on-Thames, pleaded guilty to managing a company when disqualified as a director at Peterborough Crown Court on 11 January 2016. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, at the same court yesterday. He was also disqualified from acting as a company director for five years.
Notes to Editors
- Valerie Windsor (DOB 16/12/1961), of Thorpe Road, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.
- Gerard Boucher 06/02/1956 of Manor Lane, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex.
- Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
- HMRC's Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrc.gov.uk
Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.
HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.