Jail for VAT fraud phantom house builders
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A FATHER and son Timothy Bentley, 62, from Cheshire and James Bentley, 35, from Sutton Coldfield have been jailed after setting up ‘sham’ companies solely to claim more than £500,000 in tax.
An investigation by the Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs revealed that Timothy Bentley and James Bentley made a series of fraudulent VAT repayment claims over a three year period between August 2009 and December 2012.
Salim Rahman, 30, from Stoke on Trent, has also been sentenced after admitting money laundering offences regarding the case.
The pair made 15 VAT repayment claims for the bogus buildings projects totaling £515,721.56 the investigation by the HMRC revealed.
The investigation also uncovered a bank account for Buildtech Construction Ltd, set up by the company director, Rahman, used to cash the fraudulent repayment cheques.
Richard Young, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, commented saying: “Timothy and James Bentley had set up and operated these construction companies for no other reason than to fraudulently claim back VAT paid on building materials.
“Our investigations showed that the invoices the defendants provided to us were bogus – there were never any construction supplies and never any new build houses”
Timothy Henry Bentley was sentenced to two years jail at Stafford Crown Court James Bentley while was given the same sentence.
The third man Salim Rahman received 10 months jail suspended for 12 months and given a 125-hour unpaid community work order.