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Sat June 19 2021

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VAT fraudster gets two years

26 Aug 16 The director of an Edinburgh construction company, who lied about her business expenses in a VAT fraud, has been jailed for two years.

Avril Jane Elliott, 49, from Gilberstoun in the Brunstane area of Edinburgh was prosecuted after an investigation into her company’s finances by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

She pleaded guilty to submitting a string of fraudulent VAT returns between 2008 and 2013, when she appeared at Edinburgh’s Sheriff Court last month. These fraudulent returns overstated her business expenses, resulting in her receiving £275,000 she wasn’t entitled to.

Elliott was sentenced to two years imprisonment when she appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 25th August 2015.

Cheryl Burr, assistant director at HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Elliott’s actions cheated the exchequer out of significant sums of money, which funded a lifestyle well beyond her legitimate income. She thought she’d found a way to exploit the tax system, putting her own greed above funding vital public services.”

Elliott’s fraud started to unravel after an inspection of her company finances. Steps are now being taken to recover the money, HMRC said.

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