Press release -
£17 million scrap metal fraudsters jailed
A gang that stole £17 million in a ‘missing trader’ VAT fraud have been jailed for a total of 12 years.
The mastermind behind the fraud, ringleader Anthony Bond, 65, from Great Missenden, and his bookkeeper Stephen Goble, 66, from Tring, were jailed for a total of more than 12 years in April 2019.
The final gang member, Taylor Sullivan, 31, from Bushey, was sentenced yesterday for cheating the public revenue by posing as a fake scrap metal dealer.
Bond used his network of companies The Bond Group, based in Chesham, to steal VAT through a ‘missing trader’ fraud. He and Goble claimed to have paid millions of pounds in VAT to suppliers over a six-year period.
The duo deliberately used missing traders - companies they knew would disappear and default on VAT payments - in a bid to benefit themselves by lowering their own tax liabilities by £17 million. This is money they kept instead of paying to HMRC.
Bond used proceeds from the fraud to fund a lavish lifestyle that included a five-bedroom house, a Spanish holiday home, a fleet of high-value cars including a Bentley, Aston Martin and Range Rover, and more than half a million pounds worth of jewellery.
Tracey Noon, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“These men stole vast amounts of money they neither earned nor deserved, taking millions of pounds away from vital public services in the UK.
“Fuelled by greed, they thought the scam was too sophisticated to be detected – but they were wrong and the ringleaders paid the price with a prison sentence.
“We will continue to pursue criminals like this who think stealing from the public purse is acceptable.”
Sullivan worked at the Bond Group and was also the company director of 3Li Ltd, which claimed to have sold £4 million in metals to The Bond Group.
The pretence of a trade between the companies enabled The Bond Group to claim input tax on the goods bought from 3Li Ltd, despite the fact the company had no history in the metal trade.
Sullivan pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue at Southwark Crown Court on 4 March 2022. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at the same court, on 11 April 2022.
Anthony Bond, 65, of Great Missenden was jailed for seven and a half years in April 2019, alongside his bookkeeper Stephen Goble, 66, of Tring, who was jailed for five years.
You can report suspected fraud to HMRC via the online form. Search ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on 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.