NI bookkeeper jailed for VAT fraud
A Northern Irish bookkeeper was jailed for nine months for her part in a £140,000 VAT fraud.
Donna Magee, from Hollyfields, Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, hid in her wardrobe when HMRC officers raided her house in February 2012.
She was then arrested and the Revenue uncovered false VAT invoices, bank statements and computer records Magee had used to reclaim more than £140,000 in VAT, relating to costs she never incurred.
HMRC had been investigating her fake business and fraudulent VAT repayments for a business premises that didn't exist.
The bookkeeper pleaded guilty at Dungannon Crown Court last week to nine counts of dishonestly making false representation, with the intention of making a gain in relation to VAT repayment claims under the Fraud Act.
The Judge sentenced Magee to nine months in prison and nine months on licence.
Mike Parkinson, HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation, said that as a bookkeeper Magee knew full well she was breaking the law.
"Yet [she] chose to overlook it for the opportunity of what she wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer. She manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies with the sole purpose of lining her own pockets.
“This investigation shows that tax fraudsters have no place to hide and we will not stop in our pursuit of those involved in this type of criminal activity," he said.