A Lincolnshire pensioner who charged customers of his wholesale business VAT for more than 11 years but cheated the tax office out of £188,000 has been sentenced.
Charles Philip Dobbs, 72, also known as Philip Dobbs, ran Skegness Wholesale Supplies in Skegness in from 2000 until 2011.
He never registered this business for tax and used a defunct VAT number to defraud Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs.
Dobbs, of The Horseshoes, Metheringham, was sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court 16 months behind bars, suspended for two years.
Gary Lampon, Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, HMRC said: “Dobbs cheated his customers and HMRC by charging VAT on the goods he sold and pocketed the money.
“This fraud was motivated by greed and was totally unfair to traders who play by the rules and pay the correct tax.
“If you suspect anyone of fraud you can report them by calling our 24 hour hotline on 0800 59 5000.”
Dobbs’ fraud was uncovered after HMRC arrested him in 2012 at his home.
Officers searching the premises seized £9,975 in cash along with documents, including blank invoices which showed an incorrect VAT number.
Dobbs was charged on May 15, 2013 and pleaded guilty on November 13 to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT, when he traded as Skegness Wholesale Supplies.
The business run by Dobbs was based at Richmond Drive Business Park, Skegness.
Dobbs is also the director of a nursing home in Skegness, which is not involved in this fraud.