TWO Irish men have been jailed in London for their part in a large-scale VAT fraud, where £4million had been laundered through bank accounts, including that of a dead colleague, from a haulage and plant-hire business.
Kerry-born Arthur Spring, 56, of Brewery Close, Wembley, Middlesex, and Donegal native Edward Corr, 52, of Monks Park, Wembley, Middlesex, were each sentenced to three years and nine months imprisonment and were both disqualified from being company directors for 10 years.
Southwark Crown Court was told that the pair used various aliases as part of the fraud, with Spring and Corr adopting the names ‘Neil Doherty’ and ‘David John Mangan’ respectively.
Headed up by Donald McLeod, 52, of Dorchester Way, Hayes, Middlesex, the four men, including 47-year-old William Gallacher of Sussex Way, London, were found guilty of fraudulently manipulating the company’s accounts to hide customers’ VAT payments.
In September 2012, 100 HMRC officers arrested the four and searched 15 domestic and businesses across London and the south of England, and seized computers, mobile phones and business record, along with £37,500 cash.
The companies targeted for the fraud – DM Services, DJM Services Ltd, O'Connor Plant and Heavy Trans Ltd – are responsible for carrying out high-profile work, including erecting the Christmas lights at Covent Garden and clearing waste from the London 2012 Olympics’ site.
John Cooper, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “This criminal group thought they had developed the perfect plan to steal from the UK taxpayer and launder their profit without detection or having to face the consequences. They were wrong and are now paying the price.”