Two Co. Down men who used 747 fake invoices to steal almost £300,000 in fraudulent VAT claims have been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, followed by two years probation.
Robert Martin Milligan, 42, and Gary Smyth, 36, directors of R&G Plastering Ltd, were interviewed in March 2014 when an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) uncovered their fraud.
Investigators found that between 2008 and 2012 the men had submitted the fake invoices claiming to have bought building supplies and materials.
Mike Parkinson, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Milligan and Smyth deliberately set out to create a false paper trail to claim money they weren’t entitled to. They used fake invoices in an attempt to make the claims look real, but hadn’t banked on our investigators uncovering their crime.
“Tax fraud isn’t a victimless crime; it is theft. These men knew they were breaking the law by stealing money that should have been funding public services, yet chose to overlook it to line their own pockets.”