Tax Fraudster Claims To Be Spy

Raymond Thomas,73, from Norfolk, made a claim he was a spy for the US Homeland Security to avoid HMRC prosecution.  Thomas was originally jailed in November 2017 for four years and eight months after the HMRC found he had stolen £1.6 million.

He told family and friends he was a spy and his business, Cambridge Computer Graphics (CCG), sold aviation radar systems to account for his lavish lifestyle.

After a £98,000 claim, the HMRC uncovered some discrepancies and Thomas said his work as a US spy meant he had to destroy all paperwork.  The HMRC checked with the US Department of Defense and Homeland Security where the invoices used were revealed as being forged documents.

On 24 June 2019, Thomas was ordered to pay back £616,551 and his wife, Susan Weston, 70, as ordered to pay £439,551, in three months.  If the amounts are not paid back the default prison sentences of five years for Thomas and four years for Weston will be activated.

The UK’s Largest Tobacco Factory Ringleaders Are Jailed

The UK’s largest illegal tobacco factory, producing 140 packs of cigarettes a minute has been stopped after a HMRC tax investigation. 

John Watson Snr, 47, Terence Jacques, 60, and Russell Haywood, 48, were the masterminds behind the £10 million fraud, have been sentenced to 14 years 6 months.

The tobacco factory was concealed in a farm unit in Crook, County Durham where HMRC found 24 tonnes of tobacco, 500,000 cigarettes, and products to make cigarettes.

The prison sentences handed out are as follows:

  1. John Watson Snr, 30/04/1972, of Ellison Street, Thorne, Doncaster, was found guilty of excise fraud and was sentenced to five years and three months in prison at Sheffield Crown Court on 25 February 2020.
  2. Russell Haywood, DOB 06/10/1971, of Intake Gardens, Barnsley, admitted excise fraud and was sentenced to four years and three months in prison at Sheffield Crown Court on 25 February 2020.
  3. Terence Jacques, 02/07/1959, of Howlea Lane, Hamsterley, Bishop Auckland, was found guilty of excise fraud and was sentenced to five years in prison at Sheffield Crown Court on 25 February 2020.

No Escape For Tobacco Smuggling Trio

8.5 million illegal cigarettes that was smuggled in window frames and laundry bags worth £2.8 million have been seized, destined for the UK. 

Three Lithuanian men, Andrej Jerofejev, 53, Vilmantas Simaitis, 48, and Martynas Nazaras, 38, have been jailed for 4 years and 9 months after being extradited back to the UK following a tax investigation by the HMRC.

The tobacco haul was found in a farm unit in Lincoln on 15 June 2017 with the investigation, extradition from Lithuania, and sentencing ending on 18 February 2020.

The sentences are as follows:

  1. Andrej Jerofejev, DOB 13/10/1964, of House 8, Flat 30, Giluzio St, Bilaite, Vilnius, Lithuania. Admitted to the Fraudulent Evasion of Excise Duty. Sentenced to 18 months in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on 22 October 2019.
  2. Vilmantas Simaitis, DOB 22/11/1971, of Dariaus ir Gireno, 1-10, Altyus, Lithuania. Admitted to the Fraudulent Evasion of Excise Duty. Sentenced to 21 months in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on 18 February 2020.
  3. Martynas Nazaras, DOB 19/08/1981, of Vyduno 27, Vilnius, Lithuania. Admitted to the Fraudulent Evasion of Excise Duty. Sentenced to 18 months in prison at Nottingham Crown Court on 18 February 2020.