London Grocer Found Guilty in £120k VAT Fraud
A London based individual found guilty of setting up fake business entities, including a holiday villas firm and a jewellery shop as part of VAT fraud of £120,000 has now been sentenced to serve jail period of three years, following an investigation carried out by the HMRC.
A London based individual with the name of Alaina Imponge registered seven business entities for VAT. Between March 30, 2011 and April 28, 2014 Alaina Imponge made several claims out of which mostly were related with repayments.
HMRC investigating team found out that two of the companies which were set up by Alaina Imponge never traded and the rest did very little business apart from north London based A & B Grocery Ltd which was a legitimate entity. The fake companies included a holiday villas firm, jewellery shop and used car business.
Imponge used a number of fake invoices to inflate the companies’ expenditure and claim VAT repayments from HMRC. Imponge received £125,742.98 as repayment against VAT claims for the seven companies out of which £118,217.98 was based on fake invoices.
Daren Cooley, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, has said that Imponge made false VAT repayment claims and stole money from the government. The money stolen was used by imponge to prop up his legitimate grocery business as well as improving his lifestyle.
At Southwark Crown Court, Imponge confessed to evading the tax authorities during the period March 30, 2011 to April 28, 2014 by making false VAT repayment claims and as a result was sentenced to serve jail-time of three years.