A Crown Court judge branded a Tattershall man as ‘arrogant’ and ‘thoroughly dishonest’ as he jailed him for 15 months for a £64,000 VAT fraud.
Lincoln Crown Court heard that Roger Ede was a director of three companies which he owned and ran from his home at Richmond Lodge, Sleaford Road, Tattershall.
Ede (52), a former school biology teacher, created false invoices between the companies and completed VAT returns which generated £64,000 in VAT repayments that he was not entitled to.
He then arranged for the companies to be dissolved and de-registered for VAT in an attempt to deliberately avoid having to repay the tax due and to try and distance himself from the fraud.
In the process, Ede misled shareholders and his fellow directors about the sale of assets and the re-payments that had been received.
E-mails removed from Ede’s home clearly showed that he chose to fraudulently claim repayments of tax that he knew were not due.
Ede was arrested at his home in July 2011 by HMRC officers and was later charged with VAT offences.
Sentencing Ede, Recorder Evans QC said: “Throughout your trial, you struck me as being an arrogant and thoroughly dishonest man.
“You showed no sign or remorse and tried to implicate two professional accountants in your sham defence.”
The court heard Ede was a director of UK Soap Co Ltd, Soma Vita Ltd and Alpha Canis Ltd, which were all run from his home.
Michael Rudd, defending, said the companies were legitimate businesses and had not been set up for the specific purpose of defrauding the tax authorities.
He said the offences occurred when Ede had financial problems after his credit card was withdrawn.
Mr Rudd added: “It was a lapse of judgement. He wasn’t living a champagne lifestyle,”
Mr Rudd said Ede had resigned from a number of positions, including roles with Skegness Academy and the Friends of Holy Trinity church in his home village.
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