The Defendant, an educated elderly gentleman who had been a city professional before mental illness caused him to change his career, stood accused of VAT fraud in the total sum of approximately £400,000.
He had set up the building contractor business as a way to keep him busy and mentally challenged without the stress and anxiety that his previous career had brought him.
The allegations against the Defendant were that whilst he had been in charge of the business he had been fabricating expenses and suppressing sales income over a number of years.
The Defendant admitted his wrongdoing but disputed that it had been deliberate. It was his case that he had been unable to cope with managing the paperwork due to medical problems.
The Defendant also disputed the £400,000 figure which, if taken as the basis for sentencing would have resulted in a custodial sentence.
We worked alongside the Defendant and his legal team and managed to identify the income and expenditure across all of the Defendant’s business and personal bank accounts. As a result of our analysis we were able to re-construct the VAT returns for the indictment period to show that the extent of the total VAT fraud was below £280,000.
This finding was sufficient to enable the Court to issue a two year custodial sentence which, in turn, the Court was able to suspend in light of the Defendant’s mitigating medical factors.
The Defendant avoided a prison sentence and is repaying his VAT liability to HMRC.