A BUILDER has been sentenced for over £250,000 of VAT fraud.

Malcolm MacDougall, 54, of Rogers Lane, Stoke Poges, was arrested in 2016 following an investigation by HMRC.

MacDougall, who traded as 'BM Construction', submitted fraudulent VAT returns totalling £254,898 between February 2012 and October 2015. He also forged invoices worth £27,527 to support the fraudulent repayment claims.

MacDougall pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of VAT and to submitting fraudulent invoices, and was recently sentenced to two years in jail, suspended for 18 months. HMRC is pursuing financial confiscation to recover the proceeds of the MacDougall's crimes, which it is believed MacDougall spent on his general lifestyle.

Simon Kiefer, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: "MacDougall showed a blatant disregard for UK tax law by committing VAT fraud. It is simply not acceptable to obtain an illegal advantage over business competitors, or to steal from honest taxpayers.

"HMRC will continue to pursue those criminals who attack the tax system, and we have already started our action to recover the proceeds of MacDougall’s crime. We ask anyone with information about suspected VAT fraud to contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887."