Businessman jailed for four years after £1.1 million VAT fraud

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The manager of a Cambridgeshire recycling company who fraudulently claimed more than £1.1 million in VAT repayments has been jailed for four years.

Brian Brader, 35, of Tithe Road, Chatteris, set up NKB Recycling in September 2010, claiming to export waste products such as cardboard and plastics to China and India. Suspicions were raised after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) called at the company to check their business records – instead of evidence to support VAT repayments they found fake invoices and fraudulent business records.

The investigation also revealed that Brader had drawn an £82,000 salary without paying any Income Tax or National Insurance.

Paul Barton, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Brader had a total disregard for the rules; he faked invoices to claim over £1million of taxpayers’ money which should have gone into public services. He also brazenly paid himself a huge salary without paying a penny in tax. This is simply not acceptable when other, honest businesses pay what they owe.

“Tax fraud is a serious crime and HMRC will continue to pursue those individuals or businesses who attack the tax system. Anyone with information about people who may be involved in tax fraud can contact HMRC’s 24-hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Brader was arrested at his home in the early hours of 23 July 2013 and initially claimed that all of the claims he had submitted were correct, but later admitted producing more than £350,000 worth of fake invoices for transactions that had never actually taken place.

HMRC also discovered that Brader took £94,500 from the business in February 2013, to purchase a property to rent out. This property was later sold for £131,000 – HMRC currently have a restraint order on these funds.

Brader was charged with Cheating the Public Revenue in March 2015 and pleaded guilty on 21 January 2016 at Ipswich Crown Court. He was sentenced to four years in prison at the same court on Friday 4 March 2016, as well as being disqualified from acting as a company director for eight years.