HM Revenue and Customs
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Tarmac tax fraudsters are jailed

Tarmac tax fraudsters are jailed

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 28 June 2012

A £500,000 tax fraudster, who pretended to have dementia in an attempt to delay his trial, has been jailed today.

Samuel Jones (53) and his wife Lorraine Jones (47) had failed to declare income tax, pay National Insurance Contributions and VAT for 10 years before they were arrested by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) investigators.

The couple denied running a tarmac business and claimed their money was from inheritance and gambling. During this time the Jones’s built a £1.6 million portfolio of eleven properties in the Weston Super Mare and Bridgwater areas, and invested £1.4 million cash in various bank accounts. They purchased three Porsche 911s using false names and bought a Range Rover and several Mercedes E, B and ML models.

Shortly before their trial was due to commence in March 2011, Samuel Jones submitted a note to the court detailing his ‘early stages of dementia’. His ‘illness’ was in fact a stalling tactic to prevent the trial taking place. Subsequent medical testing, including memory tests that Mr Jones tried to fail on purpose, showed he does not have dementia and was fit for trial.

On the first day of the trial at Bristol Crown Court (21 May 2012) Lorraine Jones submitted a late ‘guilty’ plea. She was jailed for three years and six months today. Her husband was found guilty on 30 May 2012 and was sentenced to four years in jail today.

Simon De Kayne, HMRC Assistant Director Criminal Investigation, said:

“This couple had a blatant disregard for the UK tax system; they simply didn’t bother with it. This gave them a completely unfair and illegal advantage over business competitors and robbed the Exchequer of vital revenue. At the same time they amassed a sizeable property and financial portfolio which was largely funded by their criminality.

“Samuel Jones showed the same disregard for the British legal system by stalling the investigation through a faked illness. We ask anyone with information about suspected tax fraud to call the Tax Evasion Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Upon sentencing, His Honour Judge Picton said:

"This was an exercise in tax evasion, it persisted for a decade, was breath taking and wholly deliberate, deeply dishonest and carefully thought through with one objective to evade tax.”

HMRC investigations revealed the couple used over 80 bank accounts to launder their business funds, including their three children’s bank accounts and accounts in the false name of ‘John Pope’, an alias used by Samuel Jones.

A confiscation timetable has been set down by the court to remove the proceeds of their crimes.

Notes for editors

1. Samuel JONES (30.11.58), also known to use the alias ‘John Pope’, of Chestnut House, Downend Road, Puriton, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 4TW.

2. Lorraine JONES (07.02.65), also know to use the aliases ‘Lorraine Pope’ and ‘Lorraine Isaacs’, of Chestnut House, Downend Road, Puriton, Bridgwater, Somerset, TA6 4TW.

3. The couple traded under the business names ‘Diamond Stone Paving’, ‘Diamond Driveways’, ‘JP Paving’, ‘J Pope’ and ‘J Pope Tarmac Constructors’.

4. Both were charged on 03 March 2010 with one count of Cheating the Public Revenue of Income Tax and National Insurance, and jointly charged under the VAT Act 1994 of Failing to Charge VAT to their customers, and Failing to File VAT Returns to HMRC.

5. Mrs Jones pleaded guilty to the offences at Bristol Crown Court on 21 May 2012, the first day of the trial.

6. Mr Jones was found guilty of the offences by a jury at Bristol Crown Court on 30 May 2012

7. Samuel Jones was sentenced to 4 years for each offence to run concurrently at Bristol Crown Court today, 28 June 2012.

8. Lorraine Jones was sentenced to 3 years and 6 months at Bristol Crown Court today, 28 June 2012.

9. The tax arrears of £552,952.87 were calculated on business profits of £903,600.00 made between 06 April 1998 to 05 April 2008:

• Income Tax liability £276,076.63
• National Insurance liability £20,791.24
• VAT liability £256,085.00

10. They were arrested by HMRC investigators on 20 November 2008.

11. The couple were previously successfully prosecuted by North Somerset Trading Standards in 2009 for false representation and for their poor standard of work, where they were known to have targeted the elderly and / or vulnerable.

12. Follow HMRC on Twitter @HMRCgovuk

Contacts:

HM Revenue & Customs
news.reply@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Maddy Ratnett
Phone: 7919393645
maddy.ratnett@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

HMRC Out of Hours
Phone: 07860 359544
news.reply@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

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