A car supermarket boss has been jailed for two years after channeling financial transactions related to 900 vehicles through a valet’s bank account to avoid paying tax.
David Mowbray, boss of the Holywell Car Supermarket, used an account belonging to car valet Adam Beattie to buy and sell cars in an attempt to hide his firm’s turnover and avoid paying tax, Chronicle Live reported.
The 55-year-old’s deception spanned five years and saw his Whitley Bay dealership evade over £99,500 in VAT, income tax and national insurance, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
A taskforce set up to examine the tax affairs of individuals running used car dealerships uncovered the fraud, visiting Mowbray at his home in Laurel Terrace, Whitley Bay, in February 2014.
The Chronicle reported that Mowbray attempted to flee through the back door with piles of paperwork under his arms – which turned out to be the business’s real books.
During interview, Mowbray claimed the business belonged to Beattie, who refused to answer any questions put to him.
Mowbray later pleaded guilty to fraudulent evasion of Income Tax and VAT and money laundering offences, while Beattie admitted money laundering offences.
At Newcastle Court last week Mowbray was jailed for two years and 27-year-old Beattie, of Hartburn Terrace, Seaton Delaval, was handed a 12-month suspended sentence and ordered to pay 200 hours of unpaid work.