Record sentence for carousel fraudster

After an intense six-year investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, and two separate criminal trials, the man behind a £54m VAT fraud has been jailed for 15 years, the longest sentence ever handed down by a British court for this type of crime.

Emmanuel Hening, a trader with dual Belgian/French nationality, was found guilty on three counts of ‘missing trader’ fraud at Worcester Crown Court along with other members of the eight-strong crime gang. Three men from the West Midlands, two from Lancashire and one from Wales were sentenced at an earlier trial. A remaining member of the gang, a woman from Birmingham pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Chris Harrison, Deputy Director, Investigation for HMRC said: “This was not some kind of victimless crime, but organised fraud on a massive scale perpetrated by criminals all bent on making fast and easy profits at the expense of the British taxpayer.

“This case is a further example of our determination and success in bringing to justice the criminals behind this type of fraud. The sentence should send out a clear message to others who may contemplate such criminal activity.”

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