07:48 Tuesday 19 February 2013

Court date for couple

Written byROB SMYTH

TWO people have been charged following an investigation into a £2 million VAT fraud.

Phillip Charman, 31, and Jennifer Nyland, 32, both of Fairfield Crescent, Newhall, have been charged with tax fraud estimated at £1.97 million with three other people.

HM Revenue and Customs investigators arrested the pair in 2011 on suspicion of VAT fraud following a dawn raid on a residential address in the early hours of May 23, 2011.

The raid came after suspicions arose that the pair were involved in attempting to steal £1.97 million through false VAT repayment claims relating to the sale of large-screen electronic advertising space.

Originally, only three people were arrested as part of the investigation.

However, further intelligence widened the scope of the probe and saw two more people arrested.

As part of the operation, named Kickdon, Stephen Key and Jack Key, of Tamworth, and Darren Thomas, of Nottingham, have been charged with cheating the public revenue contrary to Common Law alongside Charman and Nyland.

All five are set to attend Derby Magistrates’ Court on March 5.

Assistant director of criminal investigation for HMRC, Adrian Farley, said: “The raids in 2011 came after information led us to believe that the three may have attempted to steal £1.97 million through false VAT repayment claims relating to the sale of large-screen electronic advertising space.

“The arrests that took place were a result of our investigation to disrupt and prevent what is believed to be a major fraud.

“One of our key priorities is to identify the abuse of our tax systems by organised crime gangs stealing vast amounts of public money for their own gain.”

South Derbyshire section Inspector Paul Cannon said: “We were made aware of the operation conducted by HM Revenue and Customs in Swadlincote.

“But officers from Derbyshire Police did not play any part in the raids.”

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