A former South Yorkshire butcher who pretended to still be trading in a VAT scam has been jailed for four years.
And eight other men who joined the scam have appeared in court following an HM Revenue and Customs investigation.
Former butcher Kaiser Matlub, aged 57, of Spinneyfield, Moorgate, Rotherham, ceased trading Ossett Abbatoir in 2003 – but faked documents and continued to make VAT refund claims.
Leeds Crown Court heard Matlub became so confident he shared the scam with friends and family.
Matlub claimed he was buying sheep carcasses and selling on products such as lamb chops to wholesalers, before claiming back the VAT paid on buying the animals.
The HMRC inquiry found the supply chain did not exist and Matlub had falsified paperwork to claim £275,000.
All nine men were charged with cheating the public revenue and laundering criminal property.
Matlub, who admitted the charges, was described as the director of the fraud with 39-year-old Jarrel Clark, of no fixed abode, who was found guilty after a trial, his lieutenant .
Jailing them for four years, Judge Rodney Jameson QC said they were serious offences with the public purse being defrauded of at least £907,000.
Gurdial Singh, for Matlub, said,while he was at the ‘top end of the pyramid’, he had indicated others were involved not before the court.
He also had nothing to show for it, his house having been repossessed, having ‘frittered away the money’.
Zaheer Yousaf, 31 of Abbeyfield Road, Pitsmoor, Sheffield, was given a 21-month sentence suspended for two years and Mohammed Khan, 46 of Clegg Street, Nelson, Lancashire, was given two years suspended for two years after both were convicted of the two charges.
Paul Crapper, 45, of Greenhow Street, Walkley, Sheffield, received 16 months suspended for two years with 240 hours’ unpaid work, Vacaas Mahroof, 27, of Selby Road, Fir Vale, Sheffield, and Stanley Miller, 48, of St Paul’s Close, Dinnington, each received 12 months’ jail suspended for two years with 240 hours’ unpaid work, while James O’Keefe, 27, now a soldier based in Essex, was given a 12-month community order with 99 hours’ unpaid work and Simon Spurr, 31, of Sawn Moor Avenue, Thurcroft, Rotherham, was given a 12-month community order with 180 hours’ unpaid work. They each admitted the offences.