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Bookkeeper jailed for tax fraud

Press Release   •   Sep 25, 2014 12:01 BST

A Surrey bookkeeper who stole from her employers has been jailed for tax fraud, following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Judith Auclair, 60, regularly submitted PAYE tax returns to HMRC on her employer’s behalf. However she began to add false employee details to the company’s payroll and claimed they were owed tax refunds. She then paid the money into her own bank account.

Auclair falsely claimed £17,254 in tax refunds and pocketed a further £4,927 of tax and National Insurance contributions which had been falsely deducted from other employees’ wages between April 2009 and March 2012.

John Cooper, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“Judith Auclair abused her position of trust as a bookkeeper by stealing from her employers and UK taxpayers and continued to do so even after she was arrested. Committing tax fraud is a serious criminal offence and yesterday’s result shows that HMRC will take action against anyone doing so.”

“If you have information about people committing these type of crimes, please call the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 7887.”

Auclair also paid herself £14,223, falsely stating the money had been used to pay for goods and services.

After a director became suspicious and the company’s accountant asked for its tax records, Auclair resigned from her job in December 2011.

Auclair was arrested on 7 March 2013 on suspicion of fraud. However, shortly after her arrest she transferred a further £3,398 from her employer’s bank account into her own account.

She was later charged with fraud by false representation and being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax. She pleaded guilty to 15 fraud charges and was sentenced yesterday at Guildford Crown Court.

Notes for editors

1. Judith Auclair, DOB 19.09.54, a bookkeeper of Long Gore, Godalming, Surrey, pleaded guilty to 15 charges of fraud and was sentenced to 15 months imprisonment at Guildford Crown Court on 24 September 2014.

2. Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in this type of fraud can call the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 7887 or report it online at www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm

3. HMRC’s Flickr channel www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk

4. Follow HMRC's Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice 

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.