A haulier has received a suspended prison sentence after he faked invoices and companies in order to steal more than £100,000 in tax repayments.
Northumberland-based Philip Murray, who ran haulage business P&S Murray, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court earlier this month after HMRC discovered he had submitted false VAT repayment claims.
HMRC began investigating Murray after he filed a VAT return that raised suspicions in November 2014.
In January 2015, an examination of records found in Murray’s home discovered that he had faked paperwork for purchases that were never made and from companies that did not exist.
The false VAT repayment claims totalled £104,232.21.
On 7 February, Murray, of Hopefoot Cottages, Otterburn, Northumberland, admitted evading VAT and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years. He was also given 225 hours of unpaid work.
Confiscation proceedings to seize Murray’s assets to recover the stolen money have begun.
An HMRC spokesman said: “Murray lied and cheated to steal money from hardworking taxpayers. Our expert investigators are trained to spot questionable claims and Murray’s scam quickly unravelled.
“We will not allow the dishonest few to attack and abuse the tax system. Tax fraud takes funding away from our public services and denies a level playing field to those businesses who play by the rules.”
P&S Murray formerly held an O-licence for two vehicles and two trailers.