Plant fraudster must pay back £1m or face prison

1 February 2019 | By Neil Gerrard

A plant machinery salesman from Leicestershire who was jailed for tax fraud after he lied about his business’s sales must repay nearly £1m or face another seven years in prison.

Raymond John Weaver, 70, of Measham Road, Ashby-de-la-Zouch, was jailed for 30 months in March 2017 after he failed to declare sales of diggers, excavators and bulldozers to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and pocketed the VAT paid by customers.

Yesterday, he was ordered to repay £990,000 within three months and will now face selling his assets which include a £1.2m home, a villa in Portugal and a collection of cars.

Following his arrest in December 2012, the fraudster acknowledged there was ‘something wrong’ with his paperwork, but denied any wrongdoing.

In a bid to avoid paying Income Tax in the UK, Weaver had earlier told HMRC that he resided in Portugal. But enquiries with the Portuguese authorities revealed he paid no tax there, claiming his main residence was in fact Dubai.

He admitted the fraud in February 2017 and was jailed the following month at Leicester Crown Court.

Diccon Wood, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Weaver made a deliberate decision to not disclose his sales in an attempt to avoid his tax obligations and keep the cash. His crimes put him behind bars and now he’ll repay what he stole or spend even more time in prison, and still have to pay the money back.

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