Woman jailed for £28,000 VAT fraud

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A woman from Turkey, who used counterfeit Border Force stamps on invoices in a bid to steal more than £28,000 of VAT, has been jailed for six months after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs.

Aydan Yildirim, 30, was questioned by HMRC after officers from Sussex Police arrested her as she attempted to re-claim VAT on computers and telephone products she had bought at Gatwick Airport in November 2015.

Investigations revealed that she had presented the VAT invoices to claim a refund on goods bought, however, examination of the invoices revealed that she was using a fake Border Force stamp and she was subsequently arrested.

An HMRC spokesperson said later:“Yildirim was trying to make money dishonestly with the sole purpose of lining her own pockets with cash that should have been funding vital public services in the UK.

“Tax fraud is a serious offence and I urge anyone with information about people or businesses involved in tax fraud to contact the Customs hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Yildirim, 30, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to two charges of fraud when she appeared at Crawley Magistrates last month. She was sentenced to six months in prison when she appeared at Lewes Crown court yesterday (22 December).

Yildirim had tried to reclaim VAT of £1,332.10. She was also found with invoices which would have resulted in a further claim for £26,738.70.