Co Tyrone farmer sentenced for VAT fraud

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A farmer from Co Tyrone, who tried to steal almost £60,000 in a VAT fraud, has been sentenced after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

John James Moane, 19, from Fivemiletown, submitted a number of VAT repayment claims in relation to the hire of machinery and plant for his farming business. However, HMRC investigations revealed that these invoices were fake and the machinery did not exist.

Further investigations revealed that Moane had also altered the dates and names on the invoices in order to reclaim the VAT to which he was not entitled.

Mike Parkinson, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “Moane deliberately set out to create a false paper trail so that he could claim money that he was not entitled to. He manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies with the sole purpose of lining his own pockets.

“He knew he was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer.”