David Hay, 56, from Hyvot Grove, ran firms that oversaw building and renovation works in Edinburgh, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), which soon caught up with him, said Hay was fully aware of his obligations to charge and pay VAT and admitted to investigators that he “just never got round to paying” – in spite of his claim that he knew he would “get caught eventually”.
Anne Marie Gordon, assistant director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Crooks like Hay create an uneven playing field, undercutting the honest businesses who do pay what is due. That’s something we won’t tolerate. Instead of passing on the VAT he charged customers to fund vital public services, he chose to keep it for himself even though he knew we would catch him.”