Pay up or stay in jail crook told

News from the courts. ANL-161126-100856001News from the courts. ANL-161126-100856001
News from the courts. ANL-161126-100856001
A Luton businessman, who provided bus services for vulnerable people, has been ordered to pay back more than £156,000 he stole through a tax fraud, or face a further five years in prison.

James Taylor, of Wardown Crescent, Luton, who had a long-standing transport contract with a local authority, deliberately wound-up nine companies to avoid paying vast sums of PAYE and VAT due to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Taylor used the stolen money to help fund a holiday home in Devon, rent sports cars including a Bentley Continental GT, and quickly pay off a big mortgage.

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However, it all unravelled in 2013 when HMRC investigators unearthed the full extent of his fraud.

The 68-year-old admitted the fraudulent evasion of VAT and income tax and was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment at Luton Crown Court on 5 August 2016.

On Friday 9 December 2016 he was served with a confiscation order at the same court and must repay the six-figure sum within three months or see his stay behind bars extended.

Kevin Newe, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Our work does not stop at sentencing and Taylor’s fraudulently-funded affluent lifestyle of fast cars, houses and holidays are well and truly over.

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“Now he’s being stripped of his home and all his assets. If we unearth more, we’ll go after that as well.The message is clear – tax fraud doesn’t pay.

“Anyone with information of those committing tax fraud can contact our 24-hour hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

When Taylor shut a company down, he diverted money owed to HMRC into his personal bank accounts before starting up a new one.

“The local authority was totally unaware it had been dealing with more than one company, as he used the same trading name, Taylors Transport Services, throughout the scam.