A Heanor man has been jailed after he was part of a seven-strong gang that tried to steal over £1million in tax as part of a TV broadcasting rights scam involving cage fighting events.
An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs found the gang had hijacked five identities and set up eight fake companies to produce bogus invoices and contracts and bought and sold television broadcast rights to generate fraudulent VAT repayments. Between October 2010 and September 2012 the group piggy-backed genuine cage fighting events.
Blackfriars Crown Court recently heard how Peter Tomlinson, 59, of Mansfield Road, pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue. He was sentenced last Thursday, November 5, to three years in prison.
Anthony Swarbrick, Assistant Director of the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service, said: “This was a fraud driven purely by greed with the single aim of stuffing their pockets with cash that should have been spent on vital public services.
“No broadcasts ever took place and no payments were ever made between the companies. It was a complete sham with the sole purpose of stealing from the taxpayer.”
The gang was led by a Swansea man and a Buckinghamshire man. The Swansea man pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue and was jailed for six years and the Buckinghamshire man who also pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue is to be sentenced on November 16.
A Manchester man was also found guilty of the same charge and sentenced to four years in prison. A Hertfordshire man was also found guilty of the same charge and sentenced to four and a half years. Another Hertfordshire man was found guilty of the same charge and sentenced to 15 months. A Berkshire man pleaded guilty to the same charge and will be sentenced on November 30. Confiscation proceedings will follow to recoup criminal proceeds.