Company boss jailed

Friday 8th March 2019 10:50 am

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A COMPANY boss from Exton, who fraudulently reclaimed more than £230,000 of VAT, was jailed for two years yesterday after an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation.

Richard John Whittall, 76, of Exton, Dulverton, was a supplier of precision tuners for stringed instruments and a director of Self Tune Systems Ltd and Clair Price Trading Ltd. 

When his business started to struggle, he began conducting tax fraud. Between 2012 and 2015 he made dozens fraudulent VAT repayment claims totalling £233,142.

Colin Spinks, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said:

“When we pay tax, we expect it to go towards paying for vital public services, not to line the pockets of unscrupulous traders.

“Whittall knew he was breaking the law, but thought he could get away with ripping off honest taxpayers.

“HMRC are targeting those who are stealing public money and want to level the playing field for all businesses to operate fairly.

“Tax fraud is a serious crime and I ask anyone with information about those who may be involved to contact our hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Whittall pleaded guilty at Taunton Crown Court on October 23 and was sentenced to two years in jail before the same court on March 7.

Confiscation proceedings are underway.

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