A Cardiff VAT fraudster has been told to pay HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) almost £135,000, or serve 32 weeks in jail. 

Andrew Allen, 52, had admitted his role in a £145,000 VAT fraud where he produced false invoices showing non-existent sales between an insolvent company he owned and another he had set up.  He must pay the money by the end of March.

Colin Spinks, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC said:

“Andrew Allen thought he could commit fraud easily by falsifying invoices within his own businesses. In doing so he defrauded not just HMRC, but honest businesses who pay what is due, when it is due.

“Anyone who thinks they can operate outside the law should be warned that we are investing more time and effort that ever to identify and investigate tax cheats.”

Allen had previously admitted making false statements to HMRC. He returned to Cardiff Crown Court on Monday (3 March) where he was sentenced to 32 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. He must pay compensation of £134,875 to HMRC by 31 March 2014, and prosecution costs of £2,800, and is subject to a three-month, electronically-monitored curfew between 19:00 and 07:00.