Nine construction workers have been given jail sentences after attempting to commit £300,000 worth of organised tax fraud
Jail sentences have been given to nine tradesmen after they committed tax fraud.
The nine men from Widnes and Liverpool worked as subcontractors and were found to have submitted false claims for tax repayments.
The scam was investigated by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), who discovered the main ringleader of the conspiracy James Roberts had made multiple amendments to his tax returns. He also allowed his bank account to be used by other members of the gang. Money was laundered through his partner, Natasha Sinnott’s, bank account.
The men, who worked as painters, decorators, builders and roofers, were found to have committed fraud by the Income Tax Self-Assessment Repayments Taskforce. The group discovered the false claims were made under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).
After suspicious activity among the group of men was detected HMRC withheld the majority of tax repayments and will now seek to recover the remaining stolen tax via civil and criminal proceedings.
The case, which was brought before Liverpool Crown Court on the 20 February, saw the nine men receive a range of sentences for their part in the fraud.
Leader of the conspiracy, James Roberts, 27, of Widnes, was handed a three year jail sentence for his part in the crime.
Ashley Hughes, 26, of Widnes, and Patrick Molyneux, 31, of Maghull were both given an 11 month jail sentence, suspended for two years.
Stephen Edwards, 32, of Widnes received a 10 months jail term suspended for two years, while Stephen Yemm, 34, of Widnes got a nine months suspended for two years.
Steven Jones, 28, and Kieran Rigby, 28—both of Widnes—were both give eight month sentences, suspended for two years.
Scott Keegan, 27, of Widnes got a five months jail sentence suspended for two years. Gregg Carter, 26, of Widnes a four months term suspended for two years.
For her part in laundering the money for the group, Natasha Sinnott, 22 of Bootle, was handed a four months jail term suspended for 12 months.
Still to be sentenced is James Rutherford, 31, of Kirkby, and Vincent Mccluskie, 45, of Seaforth.