Dungannon farmer and wife in massive tax fraud case

Tax fraud cases have been highlighted in a new map
Tax fraud cases have been highlighted in a new map

HMRC have mounted a massive tax fraud investigation against a Dungannon couple who tried to swindle the exchequer out of £1,329,548 in VAT.

HM Revenue and Customs have released the information as part of a new tax crime map project which reveals the biggest victories for the government over the past two years.

The government agency imprisoned people in nine high profile tax fraud cases in Northern Ireland since 2013, with one case worth £1.8 million.

The probe into the business affairs of the Dungannon couple, a farmer and his wife, was codenamed Operation Brownbear, and was the third biggest in Northern Ireland, over the past two years.

The fraud involved the use of two VAT-registered entities. The farmer received a 16 month custodial sentence and 20 months on licence, while his wife was sentenced to a non-custodial sentence, according to HMRC.

HMRC’s tax crime map includes details on around 200 operations carried out over the past two years.

The biggest in the North, Operation Lighthouse, involved the smuggling of non-duty paid and counterfeit spirits into the UK by a haulier from Portadown and his employee, who evaded revenue of £1,807,216.90 and £273,181.86 respectively.

They were given custodial sentences of 6 years and 27 months.

The case involving the most money occurred in west London. Operation Inertia involved sums totalling £176 million and resulted in prison sentences for four people as well as an order telling them to pay back the money.

Operation Nightingale in Newry and Jonesborough was a duty evasion investigation involving around £1,629,993 in revenue. It resulted in sentences for 2 individuals.