Portsmouth bookkeeper fails to pay back cash he had won for client in tax rebate

A BOOKKEEPER who pocketed thousands of pounds after promising to return a tax rebate to clients has still failed to pay back the cash - landing him back in court.

Friday, 22nd March 2019, 6:15 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd March 2019, 6:16 pm
The court heard the cash has still not been paid back

Gambling addict Christopher Savage charged £150 to do a self-employed contractor's tax return for two clients - but pocketed the cash after running it through his own account. Last year, in a fraud case, Portsmouth Magistrates' Court heard 40-year-old Savage did not pay out the £2,266.58 received from HMRC.

'It was anticipated a tax rebate would be received and that would be through the defendant's account,' prosecutor Graham Heath said at the time.

'Thereafter it was decided that the monies would be passed on to (the victim), less the £150 for the fee.' The victim got word from HMRC the money had been paid - but was told to contact police about Savage, because he had been given a conditional caution for a £4,587 similar fraud in 2017.

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The court heard the cash has still not been paid back

Dad-of-three Savage, of Morgan Road, Milton, who is in £25,000 of debt, was ordered to pay back cash in November. But despite having until January 7 to do so, the defendant failed to cough up.

Savage insisted he can pay it back when £45,000 probate comes in from his father's home.

The court heard he had suffered a mini-stroke, pleaded guilty to fraud and looked after three children. He had been struggling with alcohol abuse and his gambling addiction. 

‘He will pay back what he owes and hopefully get back on his feet,’ a member of probation told the court. ‘He had gambling issues and even went to a casino and asked for them to ban him.’

Savage must pay £2,268.58 compensation on top of the £900 he was fined in November in three months. He also still has to pay £3, 587 outstanding from his previous offence in the same period.

Magistrates ordered Savage to 250 hours unpaid work over 12 months and told him to complete 12 rehabilitation days for his failure to pay back what he owes. He was also told to pay £85 costs and an £85 surcharge.