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Payback time for Kent VAT fraudster

Press Release   •   Jun 05, 2014 09:42 BST

A Kent man who stole from the taxpayer by submitting fraudulent VAT returns has been ordered to pay back more than £62,000, or face another 19 months  in jail.

Olalekan James, 47, was jailed for 18 months in July 2013 after an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation. He pleaded guilty to submitting fraudulent VAT repayment claims worth over £140,000 for his company Zion Communications Ltd (formerly Alphavita Group of Companies Ltd), which traded in mobile phone airtime.   

Robert Alder, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said:

“James must now pay back tens of thousands of pounds, or serve more than his original sentence. If he does not pay he will still owe the money when he is eventually released.

“HMRC works tirelessly, not only to identify fraud, but to actively seek to recover the profits of fraud.”

Notes for editors

1. Olalekan Olubusola James, DOB 31/10/1966, of Kingsnorth, Ashford, Kent was ordered to pay back £62,485.99 within six months, or serve a further 19 months in  jail. The sum is based on James’ available assets.

2. The confiscation hearing took place at Lewes Crown Court on 3 June 2014.

3. Anyone with information relating to this type of crime can call the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000 or report it online at:  

4. Follow HMRC on Twitter @hmrcgovuk

5. HMRC’s Flickr account

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.