Knowsley scaffolding boss sentenced for VAT fraud
A Knowsley scaffolding company director has been sentenced for a near £100,000 tax fraud that she tried to blame on an innocent employee.
Amanda Noble, 42, of Highbanks, Lydiate, lied on her VAT returns and submitted more than 40 false invoices to evade paying £98,000 from her company, AIM Access Solutions Ltd, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found.
The VAT returns for the Knowsley Industrial Park-based business included 44 invoices for work falsely claimed as zero-rated, so no VAT was paid.
HMRC investigators identified the problem and questioned Noble, but she insisted an employee dealt with the VAT returns and she never looked at them. Further checks revealed Noble had lied about the employee.
Noble admitted making the false VAT submissions and said it was initially a genuine mistake but continued making the false claims to keep the money with the intention of repaying HMRC once the business was in better financial health.
She paid the VAT after HMRC launched a criminal investigation and uncovered the fraud.
Tim Atkins, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: “Noble persistently lied on her tax returns and to investigators.
“She shamelessly tried to blame an entirely innocent employee.
“Noble only paid the tax due when she became subject to a criminal investigation.”
He added: “We will ensure the honest majority are not cheated by tax fraudsters, like Noble. Anyone with information about tax fraud can report it to HMRC online or call us on 0800 788 887.”
Noble admitted the fraud at Liverpool Magistrates Court on September 4, 2018.
She was sentenced to 16 months in jail, suspended for two years, at Liverpool Crown Court today (October 15 October).
She was also ordered to complete 80 hours of unpaid community work and a 10-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.
The full amount owed to HMRC has now been repaid.