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Sisters jailed for £161m VAT scam 03/12/11

Two sisters from Colwyn Bay, whose systematic frauds funded lavish lifestyles filled with luxury property, fast cars and private schooling, were jailed today after their greed led them to attempt a £161m fake VAT repayment scam.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) launched an investigation into an employment agency they claimed to be running, and they were charged in December 2009, with nine offences including VAT and tax credits frauds. Today Andrea Vaughan Owen, 42, and her sister Roberta, 37, were each sentenced to 3½ years in jail.
Speaking after sentencing today Simon De Kayne, Assistant Director, HMRC said:
They “lived the type of lifestyle that most people can only dream about; a lifestyle funded by their web of deceit and fraud. The scale and variety of their criminal attempts was astonishing, but it wasn’t enough for them and their greed led to the £161m VAT claim, and their downfall. Our next step will be to relieve them of the profits of their crimes.

Stuart Coleman, Manager of the Tax Department of ABDS says:

“HMRC working with the Department for Work and Pensions, have, in less than a year, stopped more than £1bn of fraudulent and incorrect tax credits payments. A dire warning that they are examining all claims very closely.”

If you need any help and advice with VAT or other tax matters, contact Lavinia Newman Stuart Coleman or Tonmoy Kumar now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
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