Jay Nevin, 48, from Pyford in Surrey, set up an astounding 336 bogus businesses, which he used to claim back value added tax for business start-ups.
Nevin, who pleaded not guily, began making bogus VAT registrations as far back as 1997, and set up a sophisticated network operating in London, Istanbul, Milan, Paris and Vienna.
As part of a multi-cell repayment VAT fraud, he used the services of many accounting firms to deal with his tax affairs, duping accounting professionals to receive and move the fraudulent monies.
Using a variety of aliases, he even claimed to be part of a firm of accountants in order to reclaim VAT on property and equipment, which he never bought.
Customs & Excise investigators finally caught him after they noticed similarities in the claims he was submitting. Nevin was arrested in Milan, in February last year for bogus registrations going back to 1997, and was extradited to the UK to stand trial.
A Customs spokesperson, commenting on the trial, said: ‘This was the largest fraud of its kind since the introduction of value added tax in the UK, and was a very length and detailed case.’
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