Fuel fraudsters given custodial sentence

Two Wolverhampton men have been jailed and a third given a suspended sentence for fraudulent evasion of excise duty, after being arrested back in 2014 for selling 1.2 million litres of kerosene as road diesel.

Francis Daly, 54, was sentenced to five and a half years for the excise duty with a concurrent sentence of four years for VAT fraud after appearing at Stafford Crown Court on 10 February. His son Jacob John Sid O’Callaghan, 26, received 10 months for his role in the two fraudulent offences; while Danny Kane Williams, 22, also from Wolverhampton, received a six month sentence suspended for a year for the excise duty evasion.

The gang’s activities first came to light in February 2014 after police officers stopped O’Callaghan in a van containing 1,000 litres of kerosene. In May that year, HMRC officers arrested the men and seized fuel pumps, 1,500 litres of fuel and six vehicles, as well as equipment and paperwork, at their illegal filling station (pictured).

In a separate development, a Blackburn fuel station owner was jailed for 16 months on 9 February at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to the fraudulent evasion of excise duty.

Nawaz Jan Virmani, 52, trading as Shadsworth Road Service Station, was caught by HMRC with 2,843 litres of illegal laundered diesel at his filling station in June 2013. Investigations into his affairs revealed fake invoices for 212,450 litres of fuel and no legitimate paperwork for a further 126,791 litres.

Confiscation proceedings are now underway to reclaim Virmani’s criminal profits, said HMRC.