Businessman sentenced for £24k VAT scam

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A self-employed training consultant from Prescot has been sentenced to a six month suspended jail term for running a massive VAT fraud.

Henry Keesz pocketed the VAT he deducted from his clients rather than pay it to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The 42-year-old, the director of Emergo Consultancy Services Limited based in Prescot, kept over £24,500 VAT he had charged his clients between 2012 and 2014.

Sandra Smith, assistant director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Keesz was a business consultant and trainer and was well aware that he was breaking the law.

“He chose to pocket the VAT he had collected from his clients, at the expense of UK taxpayers. Because of his dishonesty he has not only damaged his business reputation but he has a criminal record.

“Keesz has already repaid the stolen money to the public purse ending the need for further enforcement action by HMRC. If you know of anyone who is committing tax fraud you can report them by calling our 24-hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Keesz, of Balmoral Way, Prescot, pleaded guilty to the offence.

He was sentenced at St Helens Magistrates Court and was required to pay £85 cost and £80 victim surcharge.