Yacht broker jailed over VAT fraud
A Dorset yacht broker has been jailed for three years after being found guilty of VAT fraud to the value of £210,000 at Bournemouth Crown Court.
James Williams sold six luxury motor boats for £1.4m and charged £210,000 VAT on sales which he kept for himself instead of paying HMRC on six separate occasions.
VAT officers became suspicious of Fairline Dorset Limited’s financial activity because although Williams received around £32,500 in VAT reclaims, and charged and collected VAT from UK customers, no output tax was declared.
Williams also falsified a sales invoice, in the name of another company, that suggested an inflated amount of VAT had already been paid on a motor yacht. According to an HMRC statement, this invoice was fabricated to make it appear that VAT had been charged on the sale of the vessel.