A Welsh car salesman's attempted VAT fraud failed when HMRC refused his repayment claim for £41k, and launched an investigation.
David Lloyd Francis, 44, from Bridgend, who operated the Cars to Go car exporting business from his former home near Pontypridd, found himself in court after enquiries revealed all his sales were based on false purchase invoices and shipping documentation. He was sentenced to 12 months' imprisonment at Cardiff Crown Court today (Thursday).
Francis and two accomplices were involved in a scam where high value cars were supposedly bought and then sold on to individuals outside the European Union. Genuine sales can attract a VAT repayment, however all of their transactions were falsified.
Francis also traded as DFMotors, and fraudulently attempted to reclaim the VAT on a vehicle he did not own, claiming that it was an asset of his business.
Speaking after sentencing Simon De Kayne, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC said:
"Francis and his co-defendants planned a calculated attack on the VAT repayment system. They attempted to undercut honest businesses, which claim only what they are entitled to, in a cynical 'get rich quick' plan that was thwarted by our investigation.
"An additional £900m is being invested in HMRC's efforts to identify and reduce tax fraud, avoidance and evasion. Anyone with information about tax fraud can help us further by calling the customs hotline on 0800 59 5000, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org."
Francis and Capper had both denied being involved in the fraud but were found guilty following a trial that ended on 25 May 2012. They were both jailed for 12 months. Kansara entered a guilty plea before the trial began and was sentenced to eight months' imprisonment, suspended for two years. Kansara must also complete 100 hours of community service and pay £1,000 costs.