Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Company boss pocketed £95,000 in VAT

A BUSINESSMAN from Henley who admitted pocketing £95,000 in unpaid VAT has been spared prison.

A BUSINESSMAN from Henley who admitted pocketing £95,000 in unpaid VAT has been spared prison.

Geoffrey Edwards, 41, did not register his company, Edwards Estate Management, for VAT. For two years he recorded payments by customers on his company invoices but kept the tax he charged.

Edwards, of Gainsborough Road, Henley, was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday last week to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of community service.

Judge John Reddihough said Edwards would have been jailed had he not sold his former family home in Woodley to pay back the debt.

He told him: “The courts regard fraudulent evasion of tax, especially in the present economic climate, as very serious.

“It was clear you were receiving VAT for work you were performing through your company and you failed to inform Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs that you were receiving that money and to account properly for it to them.”

Edwards, who dissolved his company in April 2009, was arrested by HMRC officers in March last year and pleaded guilty to VAT fraud in May this year.

A confiscation hearing to recover the criminal proceeds from the fraud has been set for December.

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