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HMRC investigation leads to payback time for Gloucester security company director

A Gloucester-based security services company director, who was jailed for stealing almost £500,000 in tax, must now pay back the sum of £67,424 or face another two years in jail and still owe the money.

Jonathan Schofield, 32, of Kingsway in Gloucester, and the director of Cheltenham-based J S Facilities Group Ltd, was found guilty of committing tax fraud totalling £497,000 and jailed for three years in February this year. An investigation by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed that he made fraudulent declarations of Income Tax and National Insurance, under the PAYE system, and VAT between 2011 and 2016.

On 18 July this year at Gloucester Crown Court, Schofield was ordered to pay back £67,424.47 within three months or face more time in prison.

The confiscation hearing concluded that Schofield had benefited by more than £526,147 from his criminal conduct, but his current realisable assets are less than that amount. HMRC will be able to pursue any future wealth.

Zoe Ellerbeck, assistant director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “Schofield knew that he was breaking the law, but thought he could get away with ripping off honest taxpayers. He’s already in jail and now he’s facing the financial consequences of his criminal behaviour. Our work doesn’t finish when a fraudster is jailed. We stop criminals profiting from their crimes and recover the money to fund public services.”

Ellerbeck added: “If Schofield doesn’t pay back what he owes, he faces even more time behind bars and will still owe the money. Tax fraud is a serious crime, and I would ask anyone with information about possible fraudsters to report it online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Schofield was sentenced on 13 February 2018 to three years’ imprisonment for being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT, contrary to Section 72 of the VAT Act 1994, and two and a half years for the fraudulent evasion of Income Tax and National Insurance deductions. The sentences are to run concurrently.

There is no appeal against default jail sentences issued in confiscation orders and the order for repayment remains in place after the default sentence is served by the fraudster. If the assets held by the convicted criminal at the time of the order are less than the benefit derived from the fraud, then any future assets can be confiscated up to the value of the benefit of the fraud.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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