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27 October 2012, 07:49
A 37 year-old businessman from Lowestoft who fraudulently claimed VAT repayments in excess of £95,000 using fake invoices, for sales that never took place, has been sent to prison.
Stuart Brown fromBentley Drive traded as Vivid Print from a converted garage in Lowestoft, providing general printing services to businesses including menus for local restaurants. Over a 12 month period he produced false or doctored invoices to claim repayments of VAT that he was not entitled to, for charges he hadn’t incurred. Investigators from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) stopped the fraud when they arrested Brown in October 2011.
The judge sentenced Brown to 10 months imprisonment on counts 1-11 and to 15 months on count 12 to run concurrently meaning that he would serve 7 and a half months before being considered for release.
Paul Barton, HMRC Assistant Director of Criminal investigation, said: 'Brown thought he could use his professional skills as a printer to produce what he thought were convincing fake invoices, but it soon became obvious to our officers that they were part of his scam to steal tens of thousands of pounds.'
Brown was found guilty of 12 counts of cheating the Public Revenue contrary to common law on 18 October 2012. He was sentenced today (26 October 2012) by Ipswich Crown Court to 10 months in prison for counts 1-11 and 15 months on count 12, all to run concurrently.