Gainsborough fraudster gets more time to repay thousands

Lincoln Crown Court
Lincoln Crown Court

A Gainsborough businesswoman who carried out a VAT fraud has been given an extra three months to pay back more than £35,000.

Anna Saxby-Spence, aged 46, was given a suspended jail term in June, after she submitted fictitious VAT returns which led to her receiving large tax repayments.

A proceeds of crime hearing at Lincoln Crown Court heard Saxby-Spence made a benefit of £65,824.

The court was told Saxby-Spence, who ran Gainsborough-based RAS Plumbing and Heating, has available assets of £35,223.

Saxby-Spence was initially told to pay back the sum £35,223 by mid-May.

However, a judge at Lincoln Crown Court this week gave Saxby-Spence another three months to pay back the money.

The sum of £35,223 must now be paid by August 14.

Saxby-Spence, of Middlefield Lane, Gainsborough, had been given 20 months’ jail, suspended for two years.

Lincoln Crown Court heard Saxby-Spence registered the plumbing company with the Revenue in September 2012 and submitted a total of 11 VAT returns up to the end of April 2015.

Hal Ewing, prosecuting, told the sentencing hearing: “A total of £56,850 was repaid by the Revenue to Saxby-Spence.

“She was operating as a plumber. It appeared there were large expenses to be paid out. One wouldn’t expect a large amount at all.”

As a result HMRC’s compliance unit carried out an investigation into the business in July 2015. Mr Ewing said “Two meetings with her were cancelled. The meeting finally took place in August 2015.

“She was asked about her business records. She said they were kept in a lock-up. Later she said they had been destroyed.

“But in September she handed over a bag of documentation to the investigating officer that included receipts.

“It included what purported to be evidence of spending that it would appear had been made up. She claimed to have spent £181,000 more on supplies than the business had done over the period.”

Saxby-Spence admitted knowingly being concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT between September 2012 and April 2015.

Judge Andrew Easteal, sentencing, said: “Everybody has to pay their taxes. It is easy to be tempted not to.”