A Brent resident has been jailed for three years after stealing almost £350,000 through VAT fraud.
Neil Lesfrance, 50, of Mandela Close, Willesden, was arrested by HMRC in September 2012 after an investigation into his tax affairs revealed he had made false VAT returns to claim repayments that weren't due.
When HMRC officers visited Mr Lesfrance in March 2009, he produced forged documents for Wembley-based firm Paramount Enterprises.
The forged documents included purchase invoices for items he claimed to be retailing such as photocopiers and large display screens, and bank statements showing a credit of over £2m, to give the impression he was running a successful business.
The true balance in his bank account varied from £200 to being overdrawn.
Peter Millroy, assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, said:“Lesfrance thought he could get away with stealing large amounts of taxpayers’ money by trading in non-existent goods and reclaiming VAT he had never paid in the first place.”
“He was wrong; crime does not pay and he will now have time to reflect on his actions from behind bars.”
Neil Lesfrance was sentenced to three years in prison at the Old Bailey on May 8, pleading guilty to offences under the VAT Act 1994.