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Somerset man jailed for tax fraud

Press Release   •   Oct 25, 2018 17:47 BST

A Clevedon man who stole almost £650,000 in fraudulent VAT repayments, has been jailed after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Derek Hole, 83, from Kingston Seymour, Clevedon, the sole director of Briar Building Ltd submitted VAT returns, claiming refunds for the purchase of building supplies totalling £644,579.14 between January 2012 and September 2017.

Hole claimed the company was constructing new build residential properties, which are generally zero-rated for VAT purposes.

Investigations discovered the purchases were fictitious and the claims were made up to illegally receive VAT repayments. Hole was arrested in March 2018.

Richard Wilkinson, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Hole lied so he could claim money he wasn’t entitled to. He manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies, individuals and charities with the sole purpose of cynically lining his own pockets.

“He knew he was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer. Anyone with information about this type of crime can report it to HMRC online, or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Hole was sentenced on Thursday 25 October to two years and ten months in prison, when he appeared at Bristol Crown Court.

Notes for editors

1.Derek John Hole (DOB 19/04/1935) from Kingston Seymour, Clevedon, was sentenced to two years and ten months in prison at Bristol Crown Court on Thursday 25 October 2018. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on Monday 24 September 2018 to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of Value Added Tax (VAT) contrary to Section 72 of The Value Added Tax Act 1994.

2.Information about any type of tax fraud can also be reported to HMRC online at www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business or contact our hotline on 0800 788 887.

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

4.HMRC’s Flickr channelwww.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.