The former landlord of an Elephant and Castle pub, who invented four employees to steal almost £84,560 in a payroll and tax fraud, has been sentenced after an investigation by HMRC.
Patrick O’Donnell, originally from Co. Mayo, initiated records for four fake employees at the Prince of Wales pub on St. Georges Road.
He put the records through his payroll system for six years, to reduce the profits he declared, inflating his expenses to evade tax and National Insurance.
The 52-year-old’s tax evading activities were from between April 2008 and April 2014 when a search of the pub led to £50,000 in cash being seized and his arrest.
“O’Donnell thought he could get away with stealing taxpayers’ money to support his own lifestyle,” said Gary Forbes the assistant director of the Criminal Taxes Unit, HMRC.
“He did not care that he was depriving pubic services of much needed funding or that he was exploiting legitimate publicans, who work hard to pay the tax owed and on time.
“This will send out a firm warning to those involved in this form of crime – your business and personal financial affairs will be fully investigated and we will seek to prosecute.”
This was later confirmed as the proceeds of crime and further confiscation proceedings to reclaim remaining criminal profits are underway.
The Kennington resident was yesterday sentenced at Southwark Crown Court.
He was handed one year and eight months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty.
He was charged with being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax contrary to the Taxes Management Act 1970 and fraudulently evading National Insurance contributions contrary to the Social Security Act 1992.