VAT fraudster must repay £1.2m or face longer in jail

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A jailed fraudster who bought three Spanish villas after stealing from the taxpayer must pay £1.2m back or face another seven years in jail

Graham Drury, originally from Wrexham, was jailed for five-and-a-half years in 2021 after making fraudulent VAT returns to HMRC.

At a hearing in Mold Crown Court on 28 July, Drury was told to pay a confiscation order totalling £1,263,939.36 within three months or have seven years added to his prison sentence.

Drury used his company, Drury Machine Sales Ltd, to claim fraudulent VAT repayments from HMRC on machinery that was never purchased.

He used stolen money to buy several properties; one in the UK and three villas in the Quesada region of Spain which he regularly visited on holiday.

Other assets included a BMW X6, two Rolex watches and £100,000 in a bank account.

HMRC confiscated the three villas, two watches and the £100,000. If Drury fails to pay his confiscation order, these assets will be disposed of and the proceeds transferred into the public purse.

Drury was arrested on 13 January 2019 and subsequently charged with VAT fraud totalling £1,887,010. He pleaded guilty to the VAT fraud at Mold Crown Court on 2 August 2021.

As well as the custodial sentence he was disqualified from being a company director for 10 years.

Debbie Porter, operational lead, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: ‘Drury stole almost £2m of taxpayers’ money to fund a lavish lifestyle, which included Spanish villas, a luxury car and Rolex watches.

‘He’s already paying the price for his crimes in jail and now must sell his assets or face even longer without his freedom. If he fails to pay the full order, he will still owe the money due after he is released.

‘HMRC will always seek to recover stolen money and if you know of anyone who is committing tax fraud, you can report them to HMRC on gov.uk.’

Got questions about dealing with employee misconduct? Head to BrAInbox today for answers to questions like What can I do instead of suspending someone when investigating gross misconduct?

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