Halifax business owner jailed for Vat fraud

Crown Court
Crown Court

A man who stole £132,000 by making fraudulent VAT repayment claims has been jailed.

Eloff Groenewald, originally from South Africa and living in Paisley, Scotland, set up Springbok Logistics in Halifax.

It was a courier service but later changed to an IT repair company.

He told investigators he was “borrowing” from the Government to keep his business afloat.

Groenewald registered his company for Vat and began to submit repayment returns, reclaiming tens of thousands of pounds.

Following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs he was jailed for two years after admitting at Carlisle Crown Court six charges of Vat fraud and one charge of producing false invoices.

Jo Tyler, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation at HMRC, said: “Groenewald knew that he was committing a criminal offence by submitting false VAT refunds, but he chose to overlook the law for his own personal gain.

“It is not acceptable that the public purse is seen as a personal bank for fraudsters who are willing to abuse the rules.”

Groenewald was also disqualified from being a director for five years.