A teacher who stole £100,000 of tax repayments to spend on gambling, golfing and Leeds Utd football matches has been handed a suspended 21-month prison sentence.
Blaine Wakeman, 26, of Spiceland Road, Shenley Fields area of Northfield, lied about purchases and financial losses from his two companies (Sports Plus Scheme Staffordshire and Inspire Sports Education Limited) that provided children’s sports coaching to fraudulently claim VAT repayments, an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed.
Wakeman, who is now working as a PE teacher in Solihull, initially denied any wrongdoing and produced fake invoices and bank statements to support his lies. But in October 2017 he admitted producing the false documents and fraudulently claiming VAT repayments between October 2013 and August 2016.
Tax fraud is not a victimless crime
Richard Young, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Wakeman knew what he was doing was wrong. He was abusing the tax system to fund a lifestyle he couldn’t legitimately afford.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects us all by depriving the public services of vital funding. I would ask anyone with information about tax fraud to report it online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
Wakeman used the cash, totalling £100,000, to fund an online gambling habit. He also spent money on lifestyle expenses, including holidays, Leeds United football matches and golf memberships.
Information about any type of tax fraud can also be reported to HMRC online at www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business.