A SHOPKEEPER who failed to declare her true takings for almost four years narrowly escaped an immediate prison sentence.
Ravinder Rai under-declared figures from the time she took over at The Village Store, in Langley Park, near Durham, in March 2008.
Durham Crown Court heard that it amounted to a £54,000 under-declaration by November 2011.
When HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers visited the Quebec Street premises, in January last year, they found a set of figures, said to portray the true sales, in one note book.
But lower figures, those used by Rai when making her quarterly VAT declarations, were written in another book.
The notebooks were seized, as was a total of £16,450 found in a safe and in Rai’s handbag, by the HMRC investigators.