South East Wales

£160,000 VAT cheat company boss jailed for 13 months

Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court
Image caption Stephen Wright was sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court

A company boss who fraudulently claimed £163,000 in VAT refunds has been jailed for 13 months, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.

Stephen Wright, 50, from Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan, used fabricated invoices while claiming VAT repayments through his firm, SJ Wright.

Wright was sentenced at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court on Wednesday after he admitted three counts of VAT fraud.

He was given 28 days to repay the proceeds of his crime.

'Falsified invoices'

Colin Spinks, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: "Wright falsified invoices to reclaim VAT he wasn't entitled to, but HMRC's checks ensured that he couldn't."

A statement from HMRC said Wright was the owner of the company when he submitted incorrect invoices to support a VAT repayment claim for £57,000 in 2012.

It was connected to an office refurbishment, which purportedly took place in 2008, but an inquiry revealed it actually occurred elsewhere, outside the four-year claims deadline, in 2006.

HMRC inspectors also found Wright had wrongly claimed £106,000 in VAT repayments in 2006.

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