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Graham Drury
Graham Drury

Press release -

Jailed VAT fraudster spent stolen cash on Spanish villas

A fraudster who stole nearly £1.9 million of taxpayers’ money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including buying three Spanish villas, has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Graham Drury, 69, of Strathalyn, Rossett, Wrexham, stole almost £1.9m by submitting fraudulent VAT returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The claims were made through his company, Drury Machine Sales Ltd, to cover VAT payments made on machinery that was never purchased.

Drury used the stolen money to buy several properties; one in the UK and three villas in Spain which he regularly visited on holiday.

Drury was arrested on 13 January 2019 and subsequently charged with VAT fraud totalling £1,897,221.

Steve Doyle, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Drury stole vital taxpayers’ money to fund a lifestyle well beyond his means and now he is paying the price with a prison sentence. Our action does not stop here as we will work to recover this stolen money.

“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime as it is stealing from the public purse, which helps fund services like the NHS. We encourage anyone with information about VAT fraud to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Andrea Thomas, Senior Crown Prosecutor, Specialist Fraud Division, Crown Prosecution Service, said:

“Graham Drury is a prolific criminal who fraudulently claimed VAT repayments totalling £1.89 million, which could have been spent on key public services. Instead, Drury bought three Spanish properties, a UK property and spent £47,600 on jewellery.

“In addition to a five-and-a-half-year jail sentence, a Confiscation Order is being pursued to recover the proceeds of crime.

“Drury has also been disqualified from acting as a company director for 10 years.”

Suspicions were first raised by HMRC officers when Companies House records showed Drury’s printing and packaging machinery business was making a profit, as this did not match the information submitted in fabricated VAT returns.

Drury claimed to have bought machinery from businesses, but despite not receiving the goods, he would claim the VAT back from HMRC.

Drury pleaded guilty to VAT fraud at Mold Crown Court on 2 August 2021 and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years behind bars the following day.

Confiscation proceedings are underway to recover the stolen money.

Notes for editors

  1. Graham Drury, DOB 03/11/1951, of Strathalyn, Rossett, Wrexham, pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of £1,897,221.48 VAT between July 2014 and August 2017 at Mold Crown Court on 2 August 2021. He was jailed for five-and-a-half years before the same court on 3 August 2021 and disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.
  2. We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.
  3. Follow HMRC’s Press Office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

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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.

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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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