Sheffield man set up fake cake company in '˜rookie attempt' to commit tax fraud
A Sheffield man who set up a fake cake making business to steal more than Â£29,000 in tax fraud has been handed a suspended sentence.
Lee Gurnill, 33, of Bridle Stile Close, Mosborough, admitted two counts of VAT fraud following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.
Gurnill said he sold birthday and wedding cakes through a company called Snax, and made around Â£25,000 a year.
But when investigatorsÂ asked to visit his business premises he admitted the company never traded and was set up solely to steal VAT, HMRC said.
Gurnill submitted monthly VAT returns and pocketed Â£29,516 in repayments he was not entitled to between June and November 2016.
He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to carry out a 20-day rehabilitation order at Sheffield Crown Court today.
In a statement, HMRC said: 'This was a rookie attempt to pocket money, which should be used to fund our public services. Gurnill showed total disregard for a tax system which exists to support honest businesses.
'HMRC will continue to pursue criminals like Gurnill who think tax fraud is acceptable. We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to report it to us online, or contact our fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.'