Company director Abdulkadar Chokhandiwala, of Leicester, in £40k tax fraud caught
A businessman has been sentenced for fraudulently claiming more than £40,000 by submitting false VAT repayment claims.
Abdulkadar Chokhandiwala (38) was the director and company secretary of KGN Supplies Ltd, which traded as Phone Bazzar.
It was involved with the purchase of mobile phone handsets which it then exported to Dubai.
The business could have claimed back from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) the VAT it had paid on the handsets it had exported.
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But Chokhandiwala submitted false VAT returns to HMRC, supported by fake receipts, to claim back VAT he had never actually paid in the first place.
He was arrested on September 21 last year, and later pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud under the Value Added Tax Act 1994.
The defendant, of St Saviours Road, North Evington, Leicester, was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
He was ordered to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work. Gary Lampon, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said: "This action sends a firm message to anyone involved or considering fraud against HMRC – your time is up.
"We are working relentlessly to combat those involved in tax evasion and fraud and bring them before the courts.
"With over £10 billion being stolen from UK finances each year by criminals involved in the hidden economy, it's a serious crime which we are determined to eradicate."
He urged anyone with information regarding tax evasion and fraud to contact the customs hotline on 0800 59 5000.