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Payslip fraud lands company director and ex-wife in jail

A company director and his ex-wife have been jailed for a total of six years and nine months for stealing £815,000 tax, National Insurance and VAT.

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The two-pronged attack on the tax system saw Donna Howard, 43, steal £283,713 in income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs) from the unsuspecting employees of her former husband’s business, Motherwell based MDH Fire and Security Services Limited.


The HMRC investigation also revealed that over a three-year period the Howards were guilty of charging customers more than £530,000 in VAT using fictitious and de-registered VAT numbers but kept the money. Donna gave the frauds a veneer of legitimacy by creating false payslips and paperwork.


Investigators found that instead of paying the tax, the money was used to fund Michael and Donna’s lifestyles. The couple shared a £400,000 house in Motherwell and enjoyed luxurious trips abroad.


Action to recover the evaded taxes is now underway.


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