A company director from Aberdare, who set up fake businesses and sent bogus invoices between them as he attempted to steal more than £140,000 in tax, has been jailed for 18 months after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Richard Morgan, 53, from Llwydcoed, set up seven fake companies, which he said provided marketing consultancy services. But the HMRC investigation found that none of them had any legitimate trade and were set up solely to fraudulently claim VAT repayments.

Morgan made eight false VAT repayment claims between July 2015 and February 2016. To support these claims he provided fake bank statements and invoices that detailed charges between his companies, but investigators found that it was all fictional. He attempted to fraudulently claim repayments totalling £141,369. Only £17,610 was paid out.

Although under investigation, Morgan went on to set up other companies, but was still unable to prove any legitimate trade.

As well as having an 18 month jail sentence imposed at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court today (9 January 2018), Morgan was disqualified from being a company director for five years.

Colin Spinks, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“Morgan attempted to make a lot of money at the expense of taxpayers and the UK’s public services, setting up companies just so that he could steal the VAT. He never intended to trade legitimately, instead faked invoices that made it look like he was trading. He knew exactly what he was doing but he is now paying the price with a criminal record and an 18 month sentence.