Sixteen in court over £6m construction tax fraud

Grant Prior 12 years ago

Sixteen construction bosses have been charged with conspiring to steal £6m through a sophisticated tax fraud.

The charges follow a series of dawn raids in 2009 by HM Revenue & Customs officers as they investigated a fraud ring across the West Midlands, Staffordshire, London and Manchester

The 16 – 13 men and three women – appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court today.

The “missing trader” fraud involved a sophisticated network of bogus companies which claimed to subcontract work and labour but disappeared before paying taxes.

Adrian Farley, Assistant Director of Criminal Investigation for HMRC, said: “Today sixteen people have been charged linked to what we believe is a fraud resulting in over £6 million being stolen from public funds.

“We are committed to bringing such cases to the courts and depriving those involved of the proceeds of their crime.”

During the arrests in September 2009, cash totalling £130,004 was seized – £91,600 from nine sites in the West Midlands and £38,444 from two sites in the Manchester area.

A further £2,000 in dollars and euros were seized. In addition paperwork including bank accounts and computers, Class A drugs and associated equipment – scales and dealer apparatus – were also seized in the West Midlands.

Over 40 search warrants were executed at residential and business premises in the West Midlands, Staffordshire, Nottingham, London and Manchester.

The 16 have been bailed  until September  5 to appear at Birmingham Crown Court.

They include:

West Midlands
* Bernard Harper (DOB 01.04.56) of 28 Causey Farm Road, Halesowen, West Midlands.
* Craig Ross Hill (DOB 06.06.64) of 1 Raby Close, Tividale, West Midlands
* Stuart Henderson Barrett (DOB 20.07.57) of 47 Hillbank, Tividale, West Midlands
* Steven Lee Barrett (DOB 09.11.79) of 35 Woodside Way, Walsall
* Steven Jeremy Bache (DOB 31.01.62) of Cornerstone, 1 Leys Close, Stourbridge
* Anthony Smith (DOB 10.06.78) of 173 Mill Street, Brierley Hill, West Midlands
* Kelly Nicholls (DOB 30.05.78) of 173 Mill Street Brierley Hill, West Midlands
* John Caulfield (DOB 03.05.72) of 29 Barton Lodge Road, Hall Green, Birmingham
* Ian Siviter (DOB 08.10.75) of 149 Regent Road, Tividale, West Midlands
* Susan Coussens (DOB 29.01.59) of 1 Chestnut Close, Norton, Stourbridge, West Midlands

* Simon Clifford Davies (DOB 12.05.68) of 205 Loxley Close, Churchill, Redditch, Worcestershire
* Neil Hughes (DOB 26.09.65) of 7 Linthurst Newtown, Blackwell Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

* Richard Ruddick (DOB 28.05.69) of no fixed abode
* Gary Lowndes (DOB 24.08.60) of 27 Weeping Cross, Stafford
* Helga Lowndes (DOB 29.12.65) of 27 Weeping Cross, Stafford

* John Beatty (DOB 11.07.68) of162 Western Road, Crookes, Sheffield

Investigations are ongoing in relation to a number of other people arrested.

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