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Porn magazine distributor jailed for VAT fraud

Press Release   •   Aug 23, 2012 16:42 BST

Kenneth Drake, 55, from Chatham, Kent, pleaded guilty to submitting false Value Added Tax (VAT) repayment claims to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by providing fake documentation to support the claims relating to purchases and sales of adult magazines and DVDs for his company ‘Top Shelf’. 

Martin Brown, Assistant Director, HMRC Criminal Investigation said:

“Drake got greedy and today’s sentence is a warning to anyone considering committing this type of fraud. HMRC are clamping down on VAT fraudsters, and we are investing more time and resources than ever to identify tax cheats and bring them to justice.”

HMRC officers discovered that Drake claimed to have paid VAT on goods purchased from three companies that didn’t exist. When questioned, he admitted to creating the false paperwork to claim the fraudulent VAT repayment claims.  He pleaded guilty to VAT fraud offences in July at a previous hearing, and was sentenced at Lewes Crown Court today (23 August 2012).
 

Notes to editors

Defendant’s details: Kenneth Drake (DOB: 15/12/1956) of 284 Walderslade Road, Chatham, Kent, was charged with Cheating the Public Revenue by claiming fraudulent VAT repayments totalling £74,900.94. He was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment at Lewes Crown Court today, 23 August 2012.

Anyone with information about individuals or businesses involved in this type of fraud, is encouraged to contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or email.

The actual amount of fraud committed was £74,900.94.

An image of Drake is available on HMRC’s flickr channel.

Follow HMRC on Twitter @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.