A gang that included a town councillor and a pensioner has been jailed for a total of 19 years for evading an estimated £4.3m in duty and tax through fuel and VAT fraud.
Michael Wilmot, 72, from Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, organised the fraud.
He used connections to a farmers’ buying consortium in Louth he ordered large quantities of rebated fuel, commonly known as red diesel, according to HMRC.
Unknown to the consortium, the fuel was sold on and used illegally in heavy goods vehicles (HGV) belonging to 35 different companies; all with connections to Wilmot.
Some of the HGVs had adapted fuel tanks fitted with anti-siphon devices to hide their illegal use of red diesel. During the investigation, HMRC officers discovered a factory where false fuel tanks were...