A director of an Oxford wholesale mobile phone company has been slapped with a ban for his part in a VAT fraud scheme.
William Robert Howard, 45, director of the now liquidated Expeditors Limited will be prevented from acting as a director for 12 years.
The mobile phone business started in 2004 and a petition was made to wind up Expeditors Limited in June 2017 with an unpaid VAT bill of £22,545.
An investigation by the Insolvency Service then focused on the firm's participation in a form of VAT fraud known as Missing Trader Intra Community fraud (MTIC).
Commonly known as ‘carousel' fraud, MITC fraud sees large consignments of high-value electrical or small items invoiced rapidly and repeatedly around trading chains.
On paper the goods look like they are being moved repeatedly from customer to customer but the goods are only moved as they enter or exit the UK.
In the case of Expeditors Limited, William Howard used the scheme to offset VAT and reclaim close to £350,000 in its 2005 to 2006 VAT return, the Insolvency Service stated.
Howard's disqualification started on 5 February 2018 and means that he cannot promote, manage, or be a director of a limited company until 2030.
Anthony Hannon, official receiver in the Public Interest Unit of the Insolvency Service, said: "This type of VAT fraud is very serious and a high priority for HMRC and the Insolvency Service.
"MTIC fraud has caused loss to the public purse and has cost the tax payer substantial sums in fraudulent VAT claims. The Insolvency Service is committed to making directors accountable for their actions," added Hannon.
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