A PAISLEY man who stole £132,000 by making fraudulent VAT repayment claims, said he was simply “borrowing” from the Government to keep his business afloat.
Eloff Groenewald, originally from South Africa, was jailed after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
He set up Springbok Logistics in Halifax, West Yorkshire, as a courier service but later changed to an IT repair company after it failed to take off.
He registered the company for VAT and began to submit repayment returns, reclaiming tens of thousands of pounds at a time in VAT refunds.
Jo Tyler, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “Groenewald knew that he was committing a criminal offence by submitting false VAT refunds.”