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Tycoon who led playboy lifestyle on high seas conned tax office out of £300k

Joseph Quinn touted himself as a philanthropist who climbed Kilimanjaro for charity and enjoyed a luxury lifestyle with two yachts and three houses

A yacht-loving tycoon who lived a lavish lifestyle and painted himself as a charity hero has been jailed over a £300,000 fraud.

Joseph Quinn touted himself as a philanthropist who climbed Kilimanjaro for charity and enjoyed a luxury lifestyle with two yachts and three houses.

But Quinn, 64, was actually a conman who carried out a VAT fraud at four Scottish firms, Daily Record reports.

He scammed HMRC out of nearly £280,000 when he bought one of his yachts from the government body after it was seized by police.

Quinn, from Newton Mearns, near Glasgow, was accused of trying to obtain £309,866.92.

He netted £279,329.79 by submitting bogus claims for VAT repayments from HMRC.

He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing


Daily Record)

His plan fell apart when local compliance officers from HMRC carried out a check.

He held his hands up over his criminal enterprise during a hearing at Paisley Sheriff Court.

Prosecutor David McDonald told the court the fraud took place between February 2014 and December 2015, while Quinn ran firms based in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde.

During routine checks HMRC compliance officers examined figures supplied by PA Legal for the company’s 2011-2013 VAT repayment submission and the two invoices Quinn had supplied to back up the claim.

He failed to provide bank statements to support the invoices.

When asked for them, he ignored a letter advising him of a VAT inspection and investigators found the company’s business address empty.

The case was passed to HMRC’s Fraud Investigation Service and the VAT returns for all Quinn’s companies were checked against his bank accounts.

Joseph Quinn on the Isolda


Daily Record)

Mr McDonald said: “HMRC identified that the bank records offered no support to any VAT submission made by Mr Quinn, with £152,361.20 being claimed by Mr Quinn without any apparent foundation.

“HMRC analysis of the bank records of the companies reveals that the normal expected business activities of a business account are not shown.

“HMRC would expect to see evidence of suppliers and purchases made to assist the businesses.”

Quinn was detained on February 27, 2017, and taken to Cathcart police station in Glasgow by HMRC officers.

In his interview, he confirmed registering all of the companies for VAT, submitting all VAT returns and knowing it was illegal to submit a fraudulent VAT return.

He discussed each of the companies in detail and admitted submitting false returns.

Last January, Quinn pleaded guilty to obtaining £152,361.20 through a fraud against HMRC.

The court was told Quinn had made £279,329.79 through the scheme and had £741,639.54 in assets.

As well as his £400,000 home in Newton Mearns, Quinn owns a £120,000 flat, and a £200,000 home, both in Thornliebank, Glasgow.

He also had more than £90,000 in bank accounts and owns two yachts – the Isolda, which is worth £302,000, and Badger Moon, which is worth £80,000.

Quinn boasted in 2015 that he was a property manager who would scale Kilimanjaro for CLIC Sargent, which helps the families of young people battling cancer.

Quinn, who was 58 at the time, helped raise almost £2000.

He was jailed for 16 months and a Proceeds of Crime hearing is set to take place this year.

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