Press release -
Fermanagh VAT fraudster ordered to repay crime cash
A County Fermanagh farmer, who was jailed in 2014 for stealing £1.3 million in fraudulent VAT repayments, has been ordered to pay back more than £390,000, or serve a further three and a half years in prison.
Gerald Moane, 49, from Brookeborough, was originally jailed for 16 months after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The investigation revealed that he had created false invoices claiming he had bought machinery and completed farming work to fraudulently reclaim VAT.
Moane was given a confiscation order yesterday (Thursday 4 May) for £392,333, which he has three months to pay in full. If he fails to pay he will serve a default prison sentence of three and a half years.
In a first for Northern Ireland, HMRC also applied for a compliance order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The compliance order gives Moane seven days to outline how he plans to pay back the money and he has to provide the court service with updates every 14 days. Failure to comply with the order can carry a prison sentence of up to two years.
HMRC investigators arranged a restraint of assets while the confiscation proceedings progressed through the courts. Any sale of these assets will now be used to fund the confiscation payment.
Notes for editors
1.Gerald Moane, DOB 19/09/1967, of Altawark Road, Brookeborough, County Fermanagh pleaded guilty to 23 charges of VAT fraud in June 2014. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison and 20 months on licence, when he appeared at Dungannon Crown Court in September 2014.
2.Moane was given a confiscation order for £392,333 and a compliance order yesterday (Thursday 4 May) at Omagh Crown Court, sitting at Newry. Since the introduction of the Serious Crime Act 2015, the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 makes parallel provision in respect of Northern Ireland for the application of a compliance order alongside a confiscation order.
3.The confiscation order and the order for repayment remains in place even after the default sentence is served. If the assets held by the defendant 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.
4.Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in tax fraud can contact the new HMRC Fraud hotline on 0800 788 887 or report it online via: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/reportingfraud/online.htm
5.HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk
6. 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.