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Weekly Edition - Published  31 January 2016


Local News Report - Mobile Page


Game over for football fan fraudster

A Liverpool man who evaded over £91,700 of VAT and then fled to Benidorm to hide from the taxman, has been jailed after returning to the UK to attend an Everton home game.

Routine checks by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed that Damian O'Hagan, 60, of Norris Green, the director of Foodservice Interim Management Limited, had kept the VAT he had charged one client between 2009 and 2014, even though his business wasn't VAT registered.

When he realised his fraud had been discovered O'Hagan tried to register his company for VAT to cover up his crime. Before the application was processed, he moved to Benidorm to run a bar but couldn't resist returning to watch his favourite team play in August 2015. He was arrested at the turnstile as he tried to enter the ground.

Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:- "O'Hagan knew his business transactions were under scrutiny and the game was up. This was one match he wasn't going to win. He chose to pocket the VAT he had collected from his client, at the expense of UK taxpayers and because of his dishonesty he has been jailed today. He now faces a full confiscation hearing to recover the money he stole from the public purse. If you know of anyone who is committing Tax Fraud, you can report them by calling our 24 hour Hotline on:- 0800 59 5000."

On 27 January 2015, O'Hagan was sentenced to 18 months jail after pleading guilty to VAT fraud at Liverpool Crown Court during an earlier hearing in December 2016.


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