Fisherman caught for tax fraud is handed suspended jail term
A FISHERMAN who “stole” more than £60,000 after failing to declare more than £200,000 in self-employed earnings has been given an eight-month jail sentence.
David Truscott, of Meadow Bank, Mylor, was caught when one of his clients, a fishing boat owner, submitted their own tax return – and HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) noticed that the 44-year-old had crewed for them and recorded his pay as a ‘share’ fisherman.
Share fishermen do not have employment contracts but usually crew fishing boats and earn all or part of their pay by sharing the profits or gross earnings.
Truscott did not submit any self-assessment tax returns for 2009 to 2012 and failed to declare his income of over £200,000.
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He owed £61,197 in income tax and national insurance contributions.
He was charged with being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax.
He pleaded guilty at Truro Crown Court on Friday, January 31, and was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
He must also pay costs of £500 and do 200 hours of unpaid work.
Colin Spinks, HMRC assistant director of criminal investigation, said: “Truscott stole £61,000 from public finances and would probably have continued his fraud had HMRC officers not stopped him.
“We ask anyone with information about this type of crime to contact the Tax Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
HMRC will recover the money through civil processes.