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Party promoter jailed over £87k phoney VAT claim

Party promoter jailed over £87k phoney VAT claim

A Tyne-and-Wear entrepreneur has been jailed after failing to repay £87,509 she had claimed in fraudulent VAT refunds.

Claire Gould was handed a two year suspended prison sentence in September 2016, after HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) discovered she used phoney invoices to claim VAT refunds through her party and events businesses.

The suspension was conditional on repayment of the full amount claimed. Gould has now been jailed for 504 days and still owes the money.

Gould said she spent £1.25 million on goods and services for her businesses, based in Houghton Le Spring, outside Sunderland.

But an investigation revealed this was a lie and Gould used fake invoices in an attempt to fraudulently claim £175,000 VAT refunds, of which £87,509 was paid.

Gould only paid £7,000 towards the confiscation order. Her debt of £80,509, plus interest totalling £9,936, remains and increases by £17.65 a day until paid.

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