Monday, December 4, 2023

Stanford-le-Hope internet boss escapes jail over fraud charges

THE director of three London internet data companies, who admitted faking invoices and doctoring bank statements in order to steal £107,000, has been given a two year suspended prison sentence.

Peter Gordon, 34, of Featherston Road, Stanford-le-Hope, was arrested by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) in September 2014, after checks of business records revealed that he had altered his bank statements and faked invoices to reclaim VAT that he was not entitled to.

Even after he was arrested, Gordon claimed that the business records he supplied in support of his VAT claims were prepared by a former book-keeper and he was unaware they were false. However the former book-keeper could not be traced and Gordon later admitted that she did not exist and he had manipulated the documents himself.

Martin Brown, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:

“It is a crime to create false documents and to fraudulently claim tax that you are not entitled to. Peter Gordon has been convicted of blatantly breaking the law. There is a small minority, like Gordon, who break the rules and think they can operate dishonestly. This not only deprives public services of much-needed funds but also gives them an unfair edge over honest businesses who do the right thing.

“Peter Gordon will now pay the price for his criminal activity; he will have a criminal record and HMRC will seek to recover any assets that he gained from the fraud. If you know of anyone not paying their fair share of tax, please tell us using the Customs Hotline on 0800 59 5000.”

Gordon was charged with four counts of fraud in April 2015. He pleaded guilty to the charges when he appeared at Basildon Crown Court on 2 November, the first day of his trial. Yesterday, 25 November 2015, he was given a two year suspended prison sentence at Southend Crown Court.

Recorder Rouse QC in sentencing Gordon, said that he ‘took exception to the late guilty plea so close to trial and the waste of HMRC’s time in attempting to trace a fictitious ‎book-keeper’.


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