Jailed ‘spy’ forced to pay or face more time inside

Raymond Thomas, a tax fraudster, has been ordered to pay £615,000 in restitution or face a further five years behind bars.

Thomas was originally jailed for tax fraud, for knowingly producing false invoices to fraudulently reclaim VAT payments and money laundering, relating to false invoices to support fraudulent VAT refund claims between 2008 and 2013.

He claimed to have run Cambridge Computer Graphics, which made made aviation radar systems, and he supplied to the US Department of Defence, and due to his work he had to destroy invoices, but checks revealed these were all forged.

Thomas claimed he was a spy to friends and family to explain his frequent trips abroad but in reality he and his wife Susan Weston took trips to their holiday homes in France, Germany and Greece, purchased with the laundered funds.

On 24 June at Manchester Crown Court, Thomas was ordered to pay back £616,551 and Weston £439,551 within three months. They will receive default prison sentences and if payment is not made, he will go to prison for five years and Weston for four years.

If the default sentences are served, the order for repayment remains and the money is still owed.

Martin Lynagh, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Thomas lived a life of luxury funded by taxpayers, but we put an end to that. Not only has he been jailed, but he will now have to sell assets to repay the stolen money. We will continue to pursue those involved in tax fraud and money laundering and urge anyone with information about these types of crimes to report it to us online, or contact our Fraud Hotline.”

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