Jailed tax fraudster must pay back £3.3m

A KEY MEMBER of a 21-strong tax fraud gang has been ordered to repay £3.3m to HM Revenue & Customs or face a further seven years in prison.

Peter Pomfrett was jailed for eight years in 2008 for his role in a £37.5m fraud. The gang imported computer processing units (CPUs), mainly from Ireland, VAT-free.

The goods were then sold on through a chain of companies each involved in the plot, with VAT added. Sham invoices would be issued before the CPUs were eventually exported back to the European Union, allowing the companies in the chain to obtain a credit for the VAT apparently paid on the goods.

It is believed that, among other assets, he bought three UK properties – each worth more than £0.5m – using his criminal profits.

HMRC assistant director for criminal investigation Richard Meadows said: “Pomfrett and his co-conspirators stole £37.5m from the public. Our investigation was long and complex, but we did not consider our job done at prosecution. Our next step was to seek confiscation of the gang’s assets, and today’s action is another warning to fraudsters that we will find you, build a case against you and then recover the proceeds of your crime.”

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