Tax fiddler on the roof jailed

roofer jailed

A self-employed Kent roofer, who stole £88,000 through VAT fraud and evaded more than £14,000 in Income Tax, has been jailed for 20 months after he was investigated by HMRC.

Richard Cakebread, 56, of Maidstone, who traded as M R Roofing and worked on historic buildings, including courts and universities, charged VAT on invoices he sent to his clients, including £51,690 on 60 invoices to one contractor alone, but failed to pay any of the tax to HMRC. The VAT number he used shouldn’t have been used as it was deregistered in 2009.

Cakebread also failed to declare his earnings or pay any Income Tax, evading £14,237.

Mark Cox, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “HMRC will continue to pursue criminals like Richard Cakebread who attack the tax system. It is simply not acceptable to charge VAT to your clients, but pocket the money. It is theft from honest businesses and taxpayers, and also steals funds from the public services we all rely on.

Cakebread pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of VAT and cheating the public revenue at Maidstone Crown Court in August 2017. He was jailed for 20 months at the same court on 18 October 2017.

Upon sentencing Cakebread, Her Honour Judge Williams, said: “The fraud was deliberate and driven by a failure to manage money.”

HMRC will look to pursue recovery of the proceeds of crime.