A farmer and his wife have been jailed for their role in a £610,000 (approximately €714,419) VAT fraud.
Joseph Cassidy (50) was sentenced to 18 months in prison, while 51-year-old Anna Cassidy was handed a 15-month prison sentence, following a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into their 20-acre beef farm in Armagh.
The judge ruled that each will spend half of their sentence in jail and the rest on licence.
Joseph Cassidy, 50, of Killyfaddy Road, Tassagh was a VAT-registered beef farmer from January 1995. Between July 2011 and March 2015, Cassidy made fraudulent VAT claims totalling £610,000.00.
Joseph and his wife, who was responsible for the farms business records, were arrested on February 23rd, 2016 on suspicion of VAT fraud and money laundering offences.
The premises and the adjoining farmyard were searched by HMRC officers and business records were seized.
2 bank accounts
HMRC investigators established that Anna Cassidy held two bank accounts; a business account into which the VAT repayments were paid and a savings account in her name, according to the HMRC.
Both Anna and Joseph Cassidy pleaded guilty to the fraudulent evasion of VAT and money laundering offences.
Both appeared at Newry Crown Court on November 28th, 2019.
Confiscation proceedings are now underway to recover the tax stolen, the HMRC confirmed.