A father and son from Co Antrim, who claimed over £59,000 in VAT using faked invoices for the purchase of buses for their coach hire businesses, despite being disqualified from driving, have each been jailed for six months after an investigation by HMRC.
Peter Joseph Burke, 49, and Peter Anthony Burke, 25, from Dunmurray, submitted VAT repayment claims for purchases made to run their coach hire businesses between 2010 and 2012. However, HMRC investigators discovered that not only were both men disqualified from driving but that the businesses had no vehicles and they were no longer trading.
Mike Parkinson, Assistant Director, HMRC, said:
“The Burke’s falsified invoices to reclaim VAT they weren’t entitled to, but HMRC’s checks ensured that they couldn’t. We are investing more time and effort than ever into tracking down those who attempt to rip off public services to line their own pockets by claiming what they are not entitled to.”
Sentencing the men at Craigavon Crown Court today, His Honour Judge Lynch said:
“The fraud was not sophisticated but was definitely pre-meditated.”