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Sun June 20 2021

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Electrical contractor jailed for VAT fraud

3 Aug 16 The director of a Scunthorpe electrical contracting company, who faked invoices to help steal more than £147,000 in tax, has been sent to jail.

Richard Hotchin, 39 and the sole director of Qube Specialist Maintenance Solutions Ltd, inflated the value of his purchases and drew up false invoices for equipment he had never bought. An HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigation found that he had made up figures on his VAT returns between April 2012 and March 2014 to keep hold of the tax he should have paid to HMRC.

Hotchin, who lives in Gainsborough, pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue at Lincoln Crown Court. This week he was sentenced to 21 months in prison. Confiscation proceedings are underway to recoup the proceeds of his crime.

Richard Young, HMRC assistant director for fraud investigation service, said: "Hotchin manipulated the accounts of his business and drew up fraudulent invoices to steal taxpayers’ money to which he was not entitled. This is money that should have been funding vital public services, and his scam created an uneven playing field for his honest competitors.

"HMRC takes tax fraud extremely seriously, and will take action where we find it to ensure no one is beyond our reach.”

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