York & North Yorkshire

Selby woman who led £12m vehicle VAT scam jailed

Jayne Mitchell
Image caption HMRC said Mitchell's criminal activity had funded a "luxurious lifestyle"

A North Yorkshire woman who organised a £12m VAT vehicle scam, enabling her to fund a "luxury lifestyle", has been jailed for 10 years.

Jayne Mitchell, 40, from Selby, was the leader of a gang of criminals involved in the huge tax fraud, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said.

She was jailed at Leeds Crown Court on Friday after being convicted of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.

HMRC said Mitchell had bought Ferraris and lavish properties.

Mitchell, along with six others, imported more than 7,000 new vehicles which they sold on through fake companies, with a turnover of more than £80m in two years.

Revenue officials said the cars were imported, then passed through a chain of fake companies and sold on to car dealerships throughout the UK.

Many of the fake companies then disappeared, without paying the VAT due on the sales.

'Champagne lunches'

The companies included some based in Selby, North Yorkshire, Pudsey, West Yorkshire, Walsall in the West Midlands and in Northamptonshire.

Mitchell, had a home near Selby and another in Belgium, where she was arrested, HMRC said.

Peter Hollier, regional director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: "This was a professionally organised, sustained attack on the UK tax system.

"This fraud allowed Jayne Mitchell to live a luxurious lifestyle - she bought Ferraris, lavish properties, designer accessories and champagne lunches."

The six other people involved in the scam will be sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on 3 December.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites