Four gang members from Staffordshire and Cheshire have been jailed after they failed in their bid to steal over £250,000 in a VAT fraud.
Michael Davies from Stone led the attempt to claim almost £257,000 in VAT repayments by inventing bogus sales of caravan parts and accessories.
A fifth man from Stafford was sentenced to a 12 months community work order.
Gary Lampon, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: “Davies and his gang members operated a network of companies that supposedly traded internationally in large quantities of caravan parts and accessories.
“They deceitfully created false paperwork showing the goods had been sold in the UK through their string of companies, adding VAT on each transaction. They then tried to claim back the VAT that hadn’t been paid in the first place, when the non-existent goods were exported.”
HMRC investigators joined forces with several police forces to investigate this gang and their financial crimes. In court they were sentenced for a combination of the HMRC VAT fraud and separate money laundering offences found in the police case.
The gang operated four companies including Lazydays RV Motorhomes in Market Drayton, Shropshire, and three companies set up purely to carry out the fraud and money laundering activities – Lorcan Steels in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Capital Consulting UK Ltd in Marple, Stockport and Sky Incentives Ltd in Altrincham, Cheshire.