Press release -
Cheltenham nightclub boss jailed for VAT fraud
A nightclub director from Cheltenham who submitted false invoices in an attempt to steal almost £40,000 in VAT has been jailed for eight months, following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Paul Regan, 35, former company director of The Prom Club Limited, falsified invoices to fraudulently claim VAT repayments for over a year after the nightclub ceased trading in May 2012.
In addition to the custodial sentence, a confiscation order was also granted. Regan has been ordered to repay £23,682.98 in full within 6 months or serve a further 12 months in jail.
Colin Spinks, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:
“Regan deliberately set out to create a false paper trail so that he could claim money to which he was not entitled. He manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies with the sole purpose of 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.”
Upon sentencing, His Honour Judge Tabor QC, said:
“The fraud had some sophistication about it…The nature of VAT submission is that it takes on trust what you say. The generation of these invoices was to cover the tracks of the fraud.”
Notes for editors
1.Paul Regan (DOB 25/04/1979) of Solway Road, Cheltenham, was the director of The Prom Club Limited. He pleaded guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of Value Added Tax contrary to Section 72(1) of the Value Added Tax Act 1994 when he appeared at Gloucestershire Crown Court on 29 January 2015. He was sentenced on 24 February 2015.
2.Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in VAT fraud can contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or online at https://www.gov.uk/report-vat-fraud
3.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.