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VAT fraudster who spent money on Spanish homes is jailed

|News, Fraud and economic crime

A prolific criminal who fraudulently claimed VAT repayments totalling £1.89 million in order to buy three homes abroad amongst other luxury items has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Graham Drury, 69, pleaded guilty on Monday, 2 August at Mold Crown Court to one count of VAT evasion. He has also been disqualified from being a business director for 10 years. Drury is a serial fraudster who has previous convictions for fraud and theft. The CPS is now pursuing a Confiscation Order to recover the losses. Drury was sentenced on Tuesday, 3rd August and has also been disqualified from acting as a company director for 10 years.

Drury was the sole director of Drury Machine Sales Limited when, between August 2014 and July 2017, he made false purchase claims which amounted to approximately £11million. These false purchase claims generated VAT repayments of £1.89 million that were pocketed by Drury and withdrawn through the company bank accounts. Drury used this money to buy three Spanish properties, a UK property as well as other luxury items. He also spent £47,600 on jewellery.

After an investigation by HMRC officers, it was found that Drury Machine Sales Limited was not operating at a level that Drury had claimed in his receipts to HMRC. There was no evidence of Drury’s claim of a business turnover of £2.13 million.

After revealing the extent of Drury’s fraud, HMRC referred the case to the CPS and he was subsequently charged with offences relating to VAT evasion.

Andrea Thomas, of the CPS, said: “Graham Drury is a prolific criminal who fraudulently claimed VAT repayments totalling £1.89 million, which could have been spent on key public services. Instead, Drury bought three Spanish properties, a UK property and spent £47,600 on jewellery.

“In addition to a 5-and-a-half-year jail sentence, a Confiscation Order is being pursued to recover the proceeds of crime.

“Drury has also been disqualified from acting as a company director for 10 years.”

The CPS is committed to continue to work alongside law enforcement and investigatory authorities to bring prosecutions where fraudsters are brought to justice.

This case was prosecuted by the Specialist Fraud Division of the CPS, a dedicated prosecuting team which deals with the most serious, complex, and difficult economic crime cases, including corruption and money-laundering.

Steve Doyle, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Drury stole vital taxpayers’ money to fund a lifestyle well beyond his means and now he is paying the price with a prison sentence. Our action does not stop here as we will work to recover this stolen money.

“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime as it is stealing from the public purse, which helps fund services like the NHS. We encourage anyone with information about VAT fraud to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Notes to editors

  • Andrea Thomas is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for the CPS Specialist Fraud Division
  • Graham Drury (D.O.B.: 3/11/51) pleaded guilty to one count of VAT evasion on Monday 2nd August before sentencing on Tuesday 3rd August at Mold Crown Court
  • The Specialist Fraud Division is a dedicated CPS team playing a leading role in the fight against serious and complex economic crime and the financial exploitation of the public, using specialist legal expertise to deliver justice.

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