A VAT fraudster has been jailed for 15 years, the longest sentence ever
handed down by a British court for this type of crime.
Emmanuel Hening, 33, was found guilty of committing a £54m
carousel fraud by Worcester Crown Court, following his
extradition from France in December 2005.
Judge McCreath described Hening as ‘the guiding hand’ behind the fraud, which
has seen an eight-strong crime gang given a total of 38 and a half years
Chris Harrison, deputy director, investigation for HMRC, said: ‘This was not
some kind of victimless crime, but organised fraud on a massive scale
perpetrated by criminals all bent on making fast and easy profits at the expense
of the British taxpayer. This was theft of revenue needed
to fund our country’s public services.’
In sentencing Hening,of dual French and Belgian nationality, Judge McCreath
said: ‘You are responsible, in my judgment, for the genesis of the fraud,
through your control over the foreign importers and your control over the UK
missing traders, and because of the reality that the evaded VAT was paid to you,
into your bank accounts.’
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