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HMRC nails last of 17 construction tax cheats

Press release -

HMRC nails last of 17 construction tax cheats

A Loughborough electrician, who failed to declare his earnings to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) for seven years, has been sentenced as the final defendant in a near £643,000 tax fraud investigation.

Aleksandr Gebski, 55, is the final person to be sentenced as part of an HMRC investigation into 17 tradesmen, including welders, sheet metal workers and electricians from the East Midlands, who between them pocketed thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money.

The fraud came to light when HMRC identified a trend in the financial accounting of local tradesmen, with many of them known to each other. They all worked for a company on a self-employed basis and were paid monthly, but failed to register with HMRC for Self Assessment, instead keeping the money they should have handed over in Income Tax and National Insurance. The company was not implicated in the fraud.

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

“This was a group of individuals who decided to keep taxpayers’ money that should have been funding vital public services. As self-employed traders in the construction industry, they believed it was a quick way to make easy cash, with little risk of getting caught - but they couldn’t have been more wrong.

“This last prosecution brings to an end a scam extending across the Leicestershire area and shows HMRC is levelling the playing field for honest tradesmen. The sentences passed down should be a warning to anyone thinking about committing tax fraud - it’s a criminal offence and we won’t hesitate to use our full range of powers to ensure that nobody is beyond the law.

“We ask anyone with information about suspected tax fraud to contact our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000."

Gebski pleaded guilty at the start of his trial at Leicester Crown Court and was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years, yesterday. All 17 tradesmen have been prosecuted under the Project Dobbin investigation and many pleaded guilty last year, receiving a mixture of immediate custodial sentences, suspended prison terms or being ordered to carry out hundreds of hours of unpaid work.

Notes for editors

  1. The combined tax fraud total for all 17 defendants is £642,976.37.
  2. Aleksander Jerzy Gebski, DOB 23/08/1962, Park Avenue, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £28,196.36 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2008 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 21 months in prison, suspended for two years, when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on Monday 22 August 2016. He was also placed on a four-month curfew and ordered to pay £700 costs.
  3. Billy David Boulton, DOB 09/01/1990, Gordon Street, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £14,575.48 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2007 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 2 July 2015.
  4. Jason Langley, DOB 10/05/1974, Hastings Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £56,325.92 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2009 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 2 July 2015.
  5. Craig Andrew Lovell, DOB 29/04/1968, Farne Way, Hinckley, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £58,901.41 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2004 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 20 April 2015.
  6. Craig Nash, DOB 30/10/1985, Stirling Avenue, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £40,598.10 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2009 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 16 months in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  7. James John Blakemore, DOB 13/04/1972, Stinson Way, Whitwick, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £37,157.89 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2004 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  8. Steven Nash, DOB 19/07/1964, Park Road, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £98,958.15 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2009 and February 2015. He was sentenced to two years in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  9. Paul Stevenson, DOB 28/04/1959, The Romans, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue out of £91,970.93 between April 1999 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 22 months in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  10. Theo Luke Patel, DOB 31/12/1988, Avon Walk, Hinckley, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £10,061.20 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2008 and April 2014. He was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work plus pay £200 in court costs when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  11. James Thomas Kirk, DOB 26/10/1988, King Street, Sileby, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £20,563.40 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2011 and February 2015. He was sentenced to ten months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  12. Paul Musson, DOB 18/09/1955, Central Road, Hugglescote, Coalville, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue out of £50,226.57 between April 1999 and April 2013. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and a six-month curfew, when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  13. Christopher Nash, DOB 14/08/1989, Abberton Way, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £6,154.02 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2006 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 33 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work and £300 costs when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 26 May 2015.
  14. Mark Guy Cross, DOB 18/10/1964, Frobisher Close, Hinckley, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £33,127 of Income Tax between April 2009 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 14 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out of 200 hours of unpaid work plus £150 costs when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 20 April 2015.
  15. Gary Lees, DOB 03/02/1972, Garfield Road, Coalville, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £10,986.96 of Income Tax between April 2009 and February 2015. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out of 140 hours of unpaid work and £150 in costs when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 16 April 2015.
  16. Shaun Leslie Wardhaugh, DOB 16/04/64, Factory Street, Loughborough, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue out of £24,357.27 between April 1999 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and £300 in costs when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 11 May 2015.
  17. Martin Callan, DOB 16/04/1963, Lawson Close, Sileby, Loughborough, Leicestershire, was found guilty after a trial of the fraudulent evasion of £42,128.26 of Income Tax and National Insurance, between April 2006 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 27 months in prison when he appeared at Leicester Crown Court on 31 May 2016.
  18. Rodney Walne, DOB 16/09/1942, Rockland Rise, Coalville, Leicestershire, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £18,687.45 of Income Tax between April 2008 and February 2015. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out of 180 hours of unpaid work plus £1,800 in court costs when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on 27 July 2016. Confiscation procedures have been put in place to recover the full amount of the fraud.
  19. Follow HMRC Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice
  20. HMRC’s Flickr channel: www.flickr.com/hmrcgovuk

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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.

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