You’ve heard about cooking the books. But in the case of the VAT fraud committed by a trainee accountant, the phrase baking the books would be more appropriate.
Keiron Edmondson raked in the dough after reclaiming £30,952 of VAT through his wife’s business Cakealicious Cakes. However, following an HMRC investigation Preston Crown Court sentenced Edmondson to 12 months for VAT offences and eight months for money laundering, suspended for 18 months.
The Blackburn-based trainee accountant raised 12 fake invoices from his company Blocks Toy Store. He claimed the invoices were for website design, agency workers and managerial services work on his wife’s cake business. But the work didn’t exist.
HMRC’s investigators found Edmondson’s half-baked fraud involved transferring the stolen money between his and his wife’s bank accounts on multiple occasions in an attempt to hide the source of the money.
Kieron Edmondson was only partway through his accountancy qualification when the HMRC investigation discovered his VAT fraud.
Tim Atkins, assistant director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service said: “Edmondson abused his financial knowledge, his employer’s trust and the public purse.
"He cooked up a batch of fake invoices to steal from the taxpayer, and now has criminal records to show for his greed.”
In addition to the suspended sentence, Edmondson must also complete 200 hours of unpaid community work within the next 12 months.