Nine more years for VAT cheat after failing to repay £40m

A CONVICTED VAT fraudster has received an extra nine years in jail for failing to repay £40m of his criminal profits.

Emmanuel Hening, a French/Belgian national, was jailed for 15 years in December 2006 for masterminding a £54m “missing trader” VAT fraud.

The operation involved a mobile phone sting, where handsets were imported into the UK VAT free by various companies set up by Hening.

Hening then sold the phones, charging VAT that was never paid over to HMRC.

However, the companies which had sold the phones to buyers then went ‘missing’ without handing over the merchandise.

The phones, still in Hening’s possession, were then “sold” down the line to various “buffer” traders before they were eventually exported back to Hening.

Each buffer company made an agreed profit margin on the phones.

Richard Meadows, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “We are determined to restore this money to the nation’s finances, in what is one of the largest confiscation orders ever gained.

“The additional nine-year jail term given to Hening sends the strongest warning yet to criminals that they cannot hide, even in prison, from our actions to seek further justice.”


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