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Gloucestershire car dealer jailed for tax offences

A second-hand car dealer has been jailed for four years and eight months after being caught paying not tax despite having traded millions of pounds worth of cars for at least 14 years.

An HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation discovered that although millions of pounds had passed through the bank accounts of 71 year old Ambrose Smith, he was not registered for Income Tax, VAT or National Insurance.

He had no specific business premises, but bought and sold cars as a middleman, buying from dealers and auction sites and selling vehicles to other dealers.

Smith, of Norton, Gloucestershire, kept no annual accounts, business records or stock books, but investigators found diaries containing handwritten records of car sales in a car transporter parked on his driveway.

He was also found to have an offshore bank account in the Channel Islands. HMRC officers also secured sales invoices from car dealerships that had traded with Smith.

Colin Spinks, assistant director criminal investigation, HMRC, told the Gloucester Citizen: "Smith was a ghost to the tax system, committing calculated fraud over a number of years and deceiving not only HMRC, but also the thousands of businesses who operate honestly and within the law.”

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