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Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Bradford conman's VAT fraud funded life of luxury including holidays in Jamaica

Bradford conman's VAT fraud funded life of luxury including holidays in Jamaica
Bradford conman's VAT fraud funded life of luxury including holidays in Jamaica

Bradford conman's VAT fraud funded life of luxury including holidays in Jamaica

A CONVICTED fraudster enjoyed two holidays in Jamaica on the proceeds of a £39,000 bogus company scam.
Phillip Scott-Crawford fleeced the taxpayer by making eight claims for repayment of VAT on three non-existent businesses, Bradford Crown Court was told yesterday.
Scott-Crawford, who had 15 previous convictions for fraud and dishonesty offences, closed down the car hire companies after registering them for VAT and claiming a total of £39,355 back, prosecutor Kate Batty said.
He pleaded guilty to fraud, between 2011 and 2014, bolstering the scam by submitting false invoices purporting to be for buying cars.


Mrs Batty said Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs paid the VAT refunds directly into his bank account.
Scott-Crawford, 51, of Gain Lane, Fagley, Bradford, had spent all the money, treating himself to luxuries, including expensive holidays, the court was told.
The court also heard that when the police seized his computer, they found proof of the bogus claims.
Officers also found a booking from Manchester to Montego Bay in Jamaica, made in April, 2013, for a two-and-a-half week holiday.
Scott-Crawford initially denied any wrongdoing when arrested, telling officers from the Specialist Fraud Division he worked at Asda supermarkets.
Mrs Batty said HMRC became suspicious during the lifetime of the second non-existent company and uncovered the fraud after the third was registered.
Scott-Crawford’s previous offences included false accounting, obtaining money by deception, theft and battery.
Mrs Batty said the actual loss from his dishonesty was £34,090 as not all the claims were paid out.
Scott-Crawford’s barrister, Stephen Wood, said he genuinely intended to set up a legitimate self-drive car hire company.
He had drawn up a business plan and spoken to his bank about it.
He got into financial difficulty and had suffered problems with drink and in his relationship.
Mr Wood said Scott-Crawford had since turned his life around.



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