Stevenage fraudster sentenced after £18,000 VAT scam
PUBLISHED: 06:52 19 November 2019
A Stevenage fraudster has been handed a suspended prison sentence after conning a Flitwick company out of £18,000.
Gerald Davies - a business advisor from Lapwing Rise in Stevenage - was sentenced at Luton Crown Court last week after pleading guilty to dishonestly making false representations and supplying articles for use in fraud.
The court heard that Davies was approached by a Flitwick company for assistance with a VAT bill in November 2017 but, following an investigation by Central Bedfordshire Council's trading standards team, it was found that he had pocketed the payments himself after claiming they had been sent to HMRC.
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After a number of payments were made to Davies, the victim discovered that HMRC had not received any money towards the VAT bill.
Davies subsequently blamed former employees while also claiming he had been liaising with an HMRC inspector - an individual who did not actually exist.
He then produced a number of bogus emails - supposedly signed off from HMRC - to prove that payments had been made.
Davies was sentenced to 16 months in prison - suspended for two years - last week and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £9,122.
The court was told Davies had voluntarily repaid £12,000 to the victim prior to sentencing, and had also provided a written undertaking to the court that he will repay the remaining amount within 14 days.