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Publication date:- 2017-02-24

user-generated Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 7.

Tradesmen sentenced in ₤300k Tax fraud

9 construction industry tradesmen, from Widnes and Liverpool, have been sentenced for trying to steal ₤300,000 in an organised Tax fraud. The men, who had mainly worked as subcontractors including painters, decorators, builders, and roofers, submitted false claims for Tax repayments.

James Roberts, of Widnes, was at the centre of the conspiracy, which was uncovered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators. He was found to have made multiple fraudulent amendments to his own Tax Returns and allowed his bank account to be used by other members of the gang.

Roberts' partner, Natasha Sinnott, 22, of Bootle, helped the fraudsters by allowing the stolen taxes to be laundered through her bank account.

The fraud was uncovered by the Income Tax Self Assessment Repayments Taskforce which targets individuals who submit false Income Tax Self Assessment claims. The false claims were made under the Construction Industry Scheme (CIS).

HMRC withheld the majority of the Tax repayments when suspicious activity was detected and will now look to recover any remaining stolen Tax using civil and criminal proceedings.

Those sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court, on 20 February 2017, were:-

James Lee Roberts, 27, of Widnes, jailed for 3 years.

Steven Peter Jones, 28, of Widnes - 8 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Stephen Edwards, 32, of Widnes - 10 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Patrick Molyneux, 31, of Maghull - 11 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Kieran Rigby, 28, of Widnes - 8 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Stephen Yemm, 34, of Widnes - 9 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Gregg Carter, 26, of Widnes - 4 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Ashley Hughes, 26, of Widnes - 11 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Scott Keegan, 27, of Widnes – 5 months jail suspended for 2 years.

Natasha Sinnott, 22 of Bootle, sentenced to 4 months jail suspended for 12 months for money laundering on behalf of others in the fraud.

2 other men are due to be sentenced next week - James Rutherford, 31, of Kirkby, and Vincent Mccluskie, 45, of Seaforth.

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