Golf club charity fraudster jailed for 30 months

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick November 3, 2014 11:22

A fraudster who claimed he was organising celebrity or charity golf events in order to use golf clubs to con the government out of thousands of pounds in VAT repayments has been jailed for 30 months.

Andrew Milne Buckner, 46, stole nearly £112,000 and his victims included Worsley Park Marriott Hotel & Country Club in Manchester.

buckner

Buckner, from Bury, set up the company Kid Rock Events, which contacted various golf clubs in north west England, and Bolton Wanderers FC, to say he was organising events, often for army veteran charities.

He also tried to arrange hospitality packages at the Ryder Cup for 50 people.

Faked paperwork would then be sent through to the clubs to make the scam look genuine. He then sent the invoices to HMRC and was able to claim £111,981 in VAT repayments over three years between 2009 and 2012 before inspectors closed down his company.

None of the events that the golf clubs expected to take place ever happened and the communications lines between them and Kid Rock Events always went dead as the deadline drew near.

During this three-year period Buckner was also claiming £18,000 per year in state benefits.

Sandra Smith, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “Buckner would visit golf venues and discuss large events but as the date got closer communication would cease and no event would take place.

“He also created aliases to deceive the golf clubs and others in this fraud. It is clear he created the company purely to defraud the VAT system for his own personal gain at the expense of the taxpayer.”

Pleading guilty to charges of fraudulent evasion of VAT, Buckner was sentenced to 30 months in jail at Bolton Crown Court.

None of the clubs or venues he contacted were in any way involved in the fraud.

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick November 3, 2014 11:22
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