Half-brothers dodged £360,000 VAT bill after lying about car sales income

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Two half-brothers were sentenced at Norwich Crown Court on Friday (December 10) after pleading guilty to fraud. - Credit: Archant

Two half-brothers have been spared jail after lying about their second-hand car sale income.

After an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), it was found that Ben Wyatt, 33, of Swan Lane, Beccles, failed to register his business for VAT between 2010 and 2016, while half-brother Gordon Wyatt, 55, of Hillside Road West, Bungay, also failed to declare his income from second-hand car sales between 2010 and 2016.

Checks by HMRC officers proved both had fraudulently evaded VAT payments of £361,203.34 and made false declarations in respect of their income from car sales on their self-assessment tax returns.

Ben Wyatt was sentenced to 22 months in prison suspended for 22 months, 250 hours of unpaid work and £5,000 in costs.

Gordan Wyatt was sentenced to 18 months in prison which was also suspended for 22 months, 180 hours of unpaid work and £1,500 in costs. Both men have repaid the VAT owed.

The men were sentenced on Friday (December 10) at Norwich Crown Court after pleading guilty to their part in the fraud at earlier court hearings.

A HMRC spokesperson said: “Paying tax is important for everyone, it funds our schools, hospitals and all our social services. The majority of individuals and businesses pay the tax that is due, however there remains a determined minority who refuse to play by the rules.

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"We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud or money laundering to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

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