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£4m VAT fraudsters jailed for 20 years

VAT FRAUDSTERS have been jailed for a combined total of 20 years, after manipulating accounts to steal £4m.

Headed by director Donald McLeod, 52, of Middlesex, the four men manipulated the accounts of their haulage and heavy plant hire business, where they hid £4m in VAT payments by setting up false bank accounts and using a deceased associate’s account for money laundering.

The companies – DM Services, DJM Services Ltd, O’Connor Plant and Heavy Trans Ltd – that were used to hide the fraud carried out high-profile work in including fitting the Christmas lights at Covent Garden and clearing waste from the London 2102 Olympics site.

John Cooper, assistant director, criminal investigation, HMRC, said: “This criminal group thought they had developed the perfect plan to steal from the UK taxpayer and launder their profit without detection or having to face the consequences. They were wrong and are now paying the price.”

The four men, including William Gallacher, 47, of Sussex Way; Arthur Spring, 56, of Wembley; and Edward Corr, 51, of Wembley, were charged with cheating the public revenue.

So far £37,500 in cash has been seized, with confiscation proceedings underway to recover their criminal gains.

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