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Wed January 26 2022

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Suspended jail sentence for VAT fraudster

19 Sep 14 A Belfast builder has been sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, for VAT fraud.

John McDowell, 56, from St Judes Crescent, Belfast, pocketed £73,000 of value added tax (VAT) that he had charged his customers but failed to pass on to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). He was arrested by HMRC in July 2013 when investigations into his building company, Aspect Construction, revealed the fraud.

Sentencing took place at Laganside Court yesterday (18th September).

HMRC assistant director Mike Parkinson said: “McDowell knew he was breaking the law when he deliberately failed to pay his taxes. HMRC takes tax fraud extremely seriously and anyone deliberately choosing to evade the taxes they owe should expect not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well.”

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