NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Trump golf security man jailed over VAT fraud

Donald Trump tees off Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption McKay invoiced President Trump for visits made by his guards to the Menie Estate golf course

The owner of a security firm hired by Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf business has been jailed for four years over a £400,000 VAT fraud.

Kevin McKay, of Aberdeen, charged his clients VAT but lied on his HMRC tax returns.

He claimed his company IPPS was making less than 10% of its actual sales.

The security guard then transferred large sums of money from his business bank to his personal account then sent money abroad.

More than £100,000 was switched to a Romanian bank in September 2010 after accumulating in his savings account over several weeks.

During his trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, McKay claimed to have looked after pop star Britney Spears and members of the Saudi royal family during his career as a bodyguard.

The court heard IPPS security guards provided mobile patrols at President Trump's golf course on the Menie Estate in Aberdeenshire.

A total of 136 visits were listed on an invoice between 2008 and 2009.

Other invoices from other firms showed that incorrect figures were submitted for some quarters to HMRC.

'Line their own pockets'

The court heard McKay's ex-wife Susan was initially charged with an offence relating to the reckless submission of VAT returns, but the case against her was later dropped.

Last month, a jury of nine men and six women found McKay guilty of being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT worth £419,799 between August 2008 and May 2014.

He was also found guilty, following a six-day trial, of removing criminal property from Scotland by transferring £100,473.98 into a Romanian bank account.

The account belonged to the mother of a woman McKay was in a relationship with.

McKay was sentenced to three years in prison for the VAT fraud with an additional year in prison for removing criminal property abroad.

Cheryl Burr, assistant director of HMRC's fraud investigation service, HMRC: "Tax evasion robs the public purse of vital funds.

"The vast majority play by the rules and pay their dues, but some like McKay attempt to undermine the system by evading VAT to line their own pockets and gain an unfair advantage over legitimate businesses. Our actions put a stop to that."

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