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Maidstone: Rogue roofer jailed after tax scam

A rogue roofer who stole £88,000 through VAT fraud and evaded £14,000 in income tax has been jailed following and HMRC probe.

Self-employed Richard Cakebread worked on historic buildings, such as courts and universities, charged VAT on invoices he sent to clients, including £51,690 on 60 separate invoices to one contractor.

The 56-year-old failed to pay any of the tax to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and also used a VAT number which had been deregistered in 2009.

Cakebread was jailed for 20 months.
Cakebread was jailed for 20 months.

Cakebread, of The Orpines, Wateringbury, admitted fraudulent evasion of VAT and cheating the public revenue at Maidstone Crown Court in August and was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday.

He was arrested by HMRC in February 2017. He received 20 months for the VAT fraud and 12 months for the Income Tax offence, to run concurrently.

He also failed to declare his earnings or pay any Income Tax, evading £14,237.

Mark Cox, assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Service, said: “HMRC will continue to pursue criminals like Richard Cakebread who attack the tax system.

“It is simply not acceptable to charge VAT to your clients, but pocket the money. It is theft from honest businesses and taxpayers, and also steals funds from the public services we all rely on.

“We ask anyone with information about suspected VAT or Income Tax fraud to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Sentencing Cakebread, Judge Adele Williams, said: “The fraud was deliberate and driven by a failure to manage money.”

HMRC will look to pursue recovery of the proceeds of crime.

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