Company director and ex-wife jailed for VAT fraud

The director of a fire safety and security firm and his ex-wife have been jailed for a total of six years and nine months for a £815,000 tax fraud after they were investigated by HMRC

Donna Howard failed to pay over £283,713 in income tax and National Insurance contributions (NIC) from the unsuspecting employees of her former husband Michael’s business, Motherwell based MDH Fire and Security Services Ltd.

The HMRC investigation also revealed that over a three year period the Howards charged customers more than £530,000 in VAT using fictitious and de-registered VAT numbers but kept the money. The former Mrs Howard gave the frauds a veneer of legitimacy by creating false payslips and paperwork.

Investigators found that instead of paying the tax, the money was used to fund the Howard’s lifestyles. The couple shared a £400,000 house in Motherwell and enjoyed luxurious trips abroad.

At Hamilton Sheriff Court Michael Howard sentenced to three years in prison for VAT evasion. Donna Howard was found guilty of VAT fraud and the fraudulent evasion of income tax and NICs. She received a three year prison sentence for VAT fraud and two nine month concurrent sentences for to the other offences.

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