VAT fraudster jailed

Michael Kelly - vat fraudster

A 73 year old pensioner from Kangley Bridge Road was jailed for four and a half years for Cheating the Public Revenue of £500,000 on January 17th at the Old Bailey. He was found closeted in a wardrobe when HMRC inspectors raided his home after persistently submitted utterly fraudulent VAT repayment claims.

Kelly, a company director, made false VAT repayment claims of more than £500,000 over a six-year period, claiming that his company exported white goods and motor vehicles to Africa. Genuine transactions would have resulted in a VAT refund, but investigations revealed that his company, International Trade Centre (UK) Ltd of Dulwich, made only six small-scale exports in four years.

Confiscation proceedings to reclaim the proceeds of Kelly’s crime are underway.

This is not the first big carousel fraud organised from Sydenham. The Dallas Road Gang were jailed for between two and nine years in 2005 in a £40 million fraud see here:

Whilst stiff custodial sentences are, no doubt, welcome for defrauding the honest tax payer it does remind us that one of the first people to take the equivalent of carousel fraud with purchase tax evasion of a million in today’s money only got a fine for what he considered “a great wheeze”. Oh, and a knighthood:

Richard Branson

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