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Following a HMRC investigation, a Cheltenham based nightclub director has been sentenced to eight months in jail after submitting false invoices with the intention of stealing nearly £40,000 in VAT. 35 year old Paul Regan altered invoices to claim VAT repayments for more than 12 months after The Prom Club Limited stopped trading in May 2012.

Alongside the eight month sentence, Paul Regan was also demanded to repay £23,682.98 in full in the next 6 months, or serve an added 12 months in jail.

HMRC’s Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, Colin Spinks said: “Regan deliberately set out to create a false paper trail so that he could claim money to which he was not entitled. He manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies with the sole purpose of lining his own pockets.

“He knew that he was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer.”

Upon his sentencing, His Honour Judge Tabor QC, said:

“The fraud had some sophistication about it…The nature of VAT submission is that it takes on trust what you say. The generation of these invoices was to cover the tracks of the fraud.”

If anyone has information regarding businesses or people involved in VAT fraud, they can contact the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.