Keiran Farrer jailed for £284,000 tax and benefit fraud

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Keiran FarrerImage source, Cumbria Police
Image caption,
Keiran Farrer has more than 100 crimes to his name

A fraudster who "lived a lavish lifestyle", including learning to fly, after falsely claiming £284,000 in tax returns and benefits has been jailed.

Keiran Farrer reclaimed £243,000 in taxes and £41,000 in disability benefit, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

Farrer, 39, of Whinsmoor Drive, Carlisle, had more than 100 crimes to his name before the latest offences.

He was jailed for four years after admitting three fraud charges.

The court heard Farrer filed 34 monthly VAT returns between 2013 and 2016 in which he claimed to have paid invoices for £2m worth of supplies.

Farrer had registered a vehicle hire and leasing company but this was said to have "barely traded".

He was repaid £243,000 in tax but an investigation found the returns to be bogus.

'Appalling record'

Farrer also made false statements to the Department for Work and Pensions which allowed him to rake in disability living allowances totalling £41,000.

He claimed to suffer from "severe" mental health and mobility difficulties which meant he regularly needed to use a wheelchair and specialist transport.

But video footage showed him walking unaided on several occasions and pushing a supermarket trolley.

The court heard the fraudster spent more than £50,000 of his tax return money on flying lessons and was said to have lived a "lavish lifestyle" comprising "expensive holidays for the family".

Judge Peter Hughes QC told Farrer he had an "appalling" record for dishonesty.

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