A fraud investigator with the Department for Work and Pensions who helped her husband cheat the taxpayer of £885,000 gets a suspended sentence whilst he got jailed for four years. Must be sign of times to come what with the government shutting women prisons.
Trouble and strife (wife) Elizabeth Lewis, 38, of Porth, Rhondda laundered some of the money husband Mark, 40, falsely claimed from Revenue and Customs.
He had claimed Gift Aid on fake donations to a charity to help send disadvantaged children for breaks.
The court heard the Elizabeth Lewis bought two houses and diverted more cash as her husband pretended to run a charity which was supposed to be sending disadvantaged youngsters on breaks in the countryside.
But the Welsh International School of Climbing and Mountaineering was a sham, prosecuting barrister Laurence Jones told the court in Swansea.
After just two or three months it stopped collecting donations but pretended to have received millions, including donations from former England goalkeeper David Seaman and TV presenter Nick Hancock.
In return the government paid out Gift Aid* totalling £885,711 between 2006 and 2010. Doesn’t anyone check anything these days?
*Gift Aid increases the value of donations to charities and community sports clubs by allowing them to reclaim basic rate tax on people’s gift.
Mark Lewis, a former soldier decorated eight times, admitted fraud by making false representations and money laundering. His wife was found guilty of four offences of money laundering. His wife, who has since lost her job, was jailed for 18 months, suspended for two years.
The HMRC said the couple used some of the proceeds to buy a house in Stoke, Staffordshire, which they extensively renovated and converted into flats for rent.
They also paid a £53,000 deposit on a second house in Stoke, and used the equity to help buy their current home in Porth. Mark Lewis also invested considerable sums on a series of failed outdoor activity and construction businesses. Easy come easy go eh?
He made a total of 13 fraudulent Gift Aid claims to HMRC, pretending to have received £3,000,000 in donations, when in fact he had raised little more than a few hundred pounds via bucket collections.
Still in Wales
Four immigration offenders have been arrested following operations by officers in Neath Port Talbot.
Immigration officers visited Agni Indian restaurant on Talbot Road, Port Talbot and Mint Masala Indian restaurant, Neath View Retail Centre, Dwr-y-Felin Road Neath, on Thursday 24th October.
At Agni which was visited at 17:35, a 40-year-old Bangladeshi man was arrested after checks revealed he had entered the country illegally. Two Chinese men aged 27 and 30 found in linked accommodation at the same address were also arrested for overstaying their visas.
Officers then moved on to Mint Masala, which was visited at 19:45. There, they arrested a Bangladeshi man aged 35 who was working in breach of his student visa conditions.
A 30-year-old Bangladeshi man who was also found working there without permission was removed from the premises without arrest.
The two Chinese men were transferred to immigration detention pending removal from the country. The three Bangladeshi men were released to seek illegal work elsewhere.
Sham marriage stopped
A suspected ‘sham wedding’ was stopped taking place at Harrow Register Office on Station Road just after 14:00 on Monday 28th October.
Just before the ceremony began, officers intervened and questioned a 23-year-old Sri Lankan man, who was found to have overstayed his visa. He had been due to marry a 21-year-old Italian woman.
The so called ‘bride’ was questioned by officers and released, while the Sri Lankan man was placed on immigration bail while his case is progressed. He faces removal from the UK if found to have no permission to stay.
Another sham marriage stopped
Two Pakistani men have been arrested moments before they were due to take part in suspected ‘sham marriages’ in Blackburn at Darwen register office, King Georges Hotel in Northgate at 10:30 on 31st October. Just before the ceremony, officers intervened and a 27-year-old man was arrested after checks revealed he was in the country illegally having over-stayed his student visa.
He had been due to marry a 25-year-old Czech woman who was interviewed by officers and later released. Why are these women released when they are aiding and abetting a crime.
Earlier in the week, on the morning of 29th October, officers attended the same register office and arrested a 26 year-old-man who was also in the country illegally having overstayed his student visa. He was due to marry a 18-year-old Latvian woman who was interviewed and later released. Both grooms have been detained pending their removal from the UK.
On your marks, get set ,…..
British companies are actively recruiting Romanians to come and work as midwives, waiters and hotel workers in the UK.
Ahead of Britain opening its borders in January, weekly jobs fairs are being held in the capital Bucharest. Dozens of recruitment websites are advertising low-skilled jobs in this country – some offering the promise of ‘cash daily’ and others claiming knowledge of English is ‘not necessary’.