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Fraternal fraudsters guilty as last brother gets sentenced

Press Release   •   Jun 28, 2017 13:59 BST

A Co Armagh man, the last of three farming brothers to be prosecuted for their roles in a £140,000 VAT repayment fraud, has been sentenced after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Ronald John Sinclair Halliday, 52, a farmer from Whitecross, played a central role in the fraud by forging invoices showing the purchase or hire of supplies and equipment, which allowed his brothers to make fraudulent repayment claims. HMRC began investigating Halliday and his brothers, Pastor Gordon William Barrie Halliday from Mountnorris and Richard Jonathan Kris Halliday from Keady, in 2013.

The businesses and individuals, whose names were used on the falsified documents, confirmed the invoices were false and handwriting analysis, by the Forensic Science Agency of Northern Ireland, concluded that it was likely some were written by Ronald Halliday.

Ronald Halliday was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months when he appeared at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday 28 June. Pastor Gordon William Barrie Halliday and Richard Jonathan Kris Halliday pleaded guilty to making fraudulent VAT repayments and were sentenced at Newry Crown Court on 21 June 2017.

Notes for editors

1.Ronald John Sinclair Halliday (DOB 31/05/1965) from Drumnahunshin Road, Whitecross, was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months when he appeared at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday 28 June. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty contrary to Section 170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.

2.The other men involved in the fraud and previously sentenced were:

  • Gordon William Barrie Halliday (DOB 09/04/1968) from Bessbrook Road, Mountnorris. He was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, when he pleaded guilty to 17 counts of VAT repayment fraud at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday 21 June 2017.
  • Richard Jonathan Kris Halliday (DOB 07/03/1975) from Madden Road, Keady. He was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, when he pleaded guilty to 7 counts of VAT repayment fraud at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday 21 June 2017.

3.Suspected tax fraud can be reported to the HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.

4.Follow HMRC's press office on Twitter @HMRCpressoffice

Issued by HM Revenue & Customs Press Office

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is the UK’s tax authority.

HMRC is responsible for making sure that the money is available to fund the UK’s public services and for helping families and individuals with targeted financial support.