Tax cheat gets 21 months jail for eight years of fraud

The sentence came after James Hunt of Longton, Preston pleaded guilty on 17 November to tax cheat by failing to declare profits from his company Lawrence Hunt and Co Ltd to the Inland Revenue.

Hunt intended to cheat the public of the income and corporation tax due on his company profits between May 1977 and May 1995.

Hunt’s tax affairs were investigated by the Revenue because it was found that he had omitted building society interest for the periods 1970/80 and 1989/90.

Hunt was asked to complete a certificate of full disclosure at the end of the investigation confirming that all relevant matters had been drawn to the Inspector’s attention. This form was completed on the 23 October 1995.

However in March 1996 the Revenue became aware that Hunt had purchased a property in France for £600,000 and it was far from clear how this had been achieved on the declared income.

Subsequent enquiries revealed that Hunt had diverted company funds in a variety of ways amounting to over £600,000 during the period 1977/78 to 1994/95.

These funds were invested in Monaco or used to buy property in Nice. Hunt employed off shore bank accounts in these transactions in attempt to avoid tax.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £17,847.

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