A Clipstone woman who, along with two men, hijacked 56 identities in order to steal over £1.3 million in VAT repayments has been given a suspended prison sentence, after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Investigations revealed that Leanne Elizabeth Jeans (27)of Kings Johns Road, Clipstone Village. Christopher Lee Ratcliffe (34) from Newark and Craig Duncan Lowndes ( 38) from Staffordshire set up a string of bank accounts, using some of the hijacked identities, in order to fraudulently reclaim VAT on home construction projects.
Jeans was given a 12-month prison term, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to complete 200 hours of community service, when she appeared at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday 4th November.
Ratcliffe was jailed for three years and Lowndes for four years at the same hearing.
Jo Tyler from the criminal investigations department said: “These individuals stole the identities of 56 people knowing full well they were breaking the law yet they chose to overlook it for the opportunity of what they wrongly assumed would be easy money.
“This investigation shows that tax fraudsters have no place to hide and we will not stop in our pursuit of those involved in this type of crime.”