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Car dealer found guilty of cheating the tax man

A second hand car dealer has been found guilty of avoiding to pay the tax man nearly £500,000.

Joseph Robinson, 61, of Chilworth Road, Chilworth, was found guilty of three counts of making false statements and a further charge of cheating the public revenue, reports

Following the verdict at Southampton Crown Court, Judge Jeremy Burford QC said he would only grant Robinson bail if he raised £1m in security.

A series of phone calls were then made by barristers and court officials to arrange the £1m transfer from Robinson's off-shore account.

Initially £250,000 was suggested by Robinson's defence team but Judge Burford demanded more.

Robinson was later allowed bail until September when he will be sentenced and allowed to leave the country for a week in Tenerife, where he has a villa, to undertake work on the property.

The money would only be forfeited should he not return to be sentenced.

The court heard how the businessman ran his company under a series of different names while trading as Chilworth Cars.

Despite a turnover of around £1m Robinson failed to declare the extent of his profits in 2002-03 as well as failing to register for VAT.

The loss to Customs and Excise totalled £431,000 including interest.

Robinson was eventually caught after his accountant reported him to HM Revenue and Customs.

A search of his house by customs officers found documents showing he had around £3m in various accounts.


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