A MAN jailed for five and a half years for a £950,000 tax and national insurance fraud has been ordered to pay back £921,177 or face more time behind bars.
Michael Scott, now 64, was jailed in June 2015 after creating, as the judge described, a ‘smoke screen’ for four and half years that was aimed at deceiving HM Revenue Customs and his staff at the nursery he co-owned in Locks Heath.
Scott, of Grovebury, Locks Heath, cheated more than 180 employees by deducting Pay-As-You-Earn Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions from the salaries of his workers, but then failed to declare and pay the money to the revenue authorities.
He has now been ordered – at a confiscation hearing held at Southampton Crown Court – to pay back the money within three months or face a further six and a half years in jail – and still owe the money to HMRC.
Kevin Newe, assistant director of the fraud investigation service proceeds of crime team at HMRC, said: ‘Michael Scott robbed his employees and the taxpaying public.
‘It is crucial that we stop such criminals profiting from their crimes and this confiscation order will put the money back where it belongs - funding vital public services across the UK.
‘Our investigations do not stop at sentencing, and we will continue to seize cash and assets from criminals who try to cheat the system.
‘If he doesn’t pay back what he owes Michael Scott will face another six and a half years in prison, and still owe the money.’
The fraud took place between April 2007 and November 2011 as Scott was the director of Pixies Nursery, with two branches in Locks Road, Locks Heath, and one in Southampton.
At the time of his sentencing, Judge Peter Henry said Scott was a ‘cheat against fellow citizens’ for not paying money to society and that he had also failed his staff.