Six jailed for £85m VAT fraud


Mobile phone trader Raymond Cox and five other men were jailed for a total of 47 and a half years for their parts in a VAT carousel fraud, which involved around 100 mobile phone traders in total.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) said the case is one of the biggest it has known. Revenue and Customers Prosecutions Office (RCPO) secured the verdict over two criminal trials.

Cox was ordered to repay £6.8 million, with £2.6 million of the sum due by February 23. The remainder must be repaid by January 25, 2010.

He was also issued a confiscation order on January 26 for holdings and accounts totalling £3.8 million, an apartment in Spain worth approximately £260,000, a Rolex watch valued at £2,500, £2.6 million in cash, a helicopter, a yacht and a range of performance cars.

Another gang member, Brett Simon Issitt, was ordered to repay £107,963.95 on January 27 of which he must pay £57,000 within 28 days. The remainder is to be paid within 12 months.

HMRC assistant chief investigation officer for South West Andrew Pavlinic said: “The confiscations for this gang and for Cox in particular show our work, in partnership with the RCPO, doesn’t stop when criminals are sentenced. Together we strive to reclaim their fraudulent profits and return the money to the public purse. Together we will not hesitate to bring this type of case before the courts.”