A double-glazing salesman and TV advert celebrity from Burnley, who was sentenced for tax fraud in 2016, has been ordered to repay £50,000 in stolen taxes.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found that Jeffrey Alan Brown, 51, a self-employed salesman and entertainer, had not submitted a Self Assessment return for more than 14 years. This was despite earning more than £300,000 in sales commission from a glazing company and £6,900 as a football match entertainer.
Today, Brown was ordered to pay back £53,498, which included interest, within three months or he will face 12 months in jail.He had previously been sentenced for tax fraud in April 2016.
Zoe Ellerbeck, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“This is a case of a well-known local personality and TV character flaunting the law as if it didn’t apply to him. Brown had submitted tax returns in the past and therefore was well aware of his tax obligations. This was deliberate theft from taxpayers by Brown. We are determined to recover stolen tax from criminals who deprive the UK of vital funds.
“Deliberately evading tax in this way is insulting to the honest taxpayers but HMRC is determined to clamp down on financial crime and Brown is now repaying the proceeds of his criminal behaviour. If you know of anyone who is committing tax fraud you can report them by calling our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
The HMRC investigation showed that between 2009 and 2015, Brown had been a successful sales representative for Safestyle UK, featuring in the company’s TV advertising earning him £300,000 in untaxed sales commission.
Brown had signed an employment agreement with the window company, agreeing to be responsible for his own Income Tax and National Insurance contributions, but instead chose not to declare his earnings to HMRC. He owed £50,000 for tax returns from February 2009 onwards.
He also worked as an entertainer, using the trading name Brown Loaf Entertainment, as a match host for several football clubs including Burnley Football Club, Accrington Stanley Football Club and Wigan Warriors Rugby League Football Club. But he stopped submitting tax returns from 2001 and never registered the business for legitimate trading, pocketing all the cash he charged the clubs for his services. HMRC also discovered that he used a fake home address on his employment records in an attempt to evade detection and taxes.
Notes for editors
- Details of the confiscation order issued on 9 September 2016 at Burnley Crown Court: Jeffrey Alan Brown, DOB 02/05/65, of Prairie Crescent, Burnley, Lancashire, was ordered to repay £53,498 within three months or serve 12 months in jail. The court ruled he benefited by £50,000 from the tax fraud and a confiscation order was issued for the full amount plus interest.
- Brown was previously sentenced to 20 months imprisonment suspended for two years on 28 April 2016 after pleading guilty to six counts of evading Income Tax and National Insurance at the same court.
- HMRC investigators’ evidence stated Brown had appeared at 69 Burnley FC matches, being paid £100 for each and before then he had featured in publicity for the other football clubs. None of this work was ever declared to HMRC for tax purposes.
- There is no appeal against default jail sentences issued in confiscation orders and the order for repayment remains in place after the default sentence is served by the fraudster. If the assets held by the convicted criminal at the time of the order are less than the benefit derived from the fraud, then any future assets can be confiscated up to the value of the benefit of the fraud.
- Anyone with information regarding fraud is encouraged to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or report it online via: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm
- Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
- HMRC's Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
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.