A SOUTHAMPTON second-hand car dealer who evaded around £350k in tax has been jailed.
At Southampton Crown Court Joeseph Robinson, 61, was jailed for three years. His bail had been set at £1million!
The Chilworth Cars boss was found guilty of making false statements with intent to defraud HMRC and cheating the public revenue on July 29.
The court heard that investigations began after Robinson’s accountant (of that time) had raised concerns about the legitimacy of his tax returns.
Between April 6 1999 and April 5 2003 Robinson disguised the true nature of his sales and profits that were liable to tax. By suppressing these profits on his self assessment returns it is estimated he fraudulently underpaid income tax of £208,843 plus the accumulated interest of £81,630.
During the same period he failed to register for or pay VAT, with an estimated loss of £140,672.
Documents seized from his property in March 2005 detailed offshore bank accounts containing more than £4.2m and the ownership of several properties in Tenerife.
Adrian Farley, HMRC Assistant Director Criminal Investigation said: ‘This calculated attack on the tax system not only robbed the exchequer, and therefore honest UK taxpayers of public funds, but is also unfair to those respectable businesses that diligently abide by the rules.’
Evidence uncovered by HMRC investigators shows Robinson sought to systematically disguise his true level of trading, and at times the fact that it was him trading at all.
For example his 2002 self assessment return fraudulently recorded sales of £234,880 and purchases of £187,442. The true figures uncovered from sales and purchase invoices for the year ending March 2002 showed sales of £1.2m and purchases of £816,931.
The court heard how Robinson operated his business ‘Chilworth Cars’ using several aliases. Evidence also showed he banked business cheques into an AIB Isle of Man bank account, rather than his UK based account.
Robinson was sentenced last Friday, 4 September.
(Thanks to www.dailyecho.co.uk for use of the picture)