Millionaire cheated Government out of thousands

PUBLISHED: 15:00 26 June 2012 | UPDATED: 15:12 26 June 2012

He will be sentenced at a later date

He will be sentenced at a later date

Archant

A SOMERSET millionaire has been found guilty of cheating the Government out of more than half a million pounds by setting up businesses and bank accounts in false names.

During a two-week trial Bristol Crown Court heard how Samuel Jones opened nearly 40 bank accounts with his wife Lorraine under a number of different identities and deposited hundreds of thousands of pounds in many of them over a 10-year period.

He has been found guilty of one count of national insurance and income tax evasion, as well as failing to register a business as VAT paying and failing to send off VAT returns.

He denied all three charges, saying he was never involved with running the businesses and in police interview said he made his money through inheritance and successful gambling.

So he had to stand trial for all offences.

Jones, known to many customers as John Pope, ran businesses under multiple names, including JP Paving, J Pope Tarmac Contractors, Diamond Stone Paving, Diamond Driveways and JP Pope.

The 53-year-old father-of-two used false addresses and asked customers to make cheques out to one of his many fake names.

Kate Brunner, prosecuting, told Bristol Crown Court Jones had made more than £1million through the business between April 1998 and November 2008 when he was arrested.

Ms Brunner added that when police raided one of his properties they found business documents ‘stuffed’ behind the sink in the bathroom and emails from ‘John Pope’ to customers on the family computer.

Jones, of Battleborough Lane, Brent Knoll, is said to have had received more than £1million in cheques alone made out to ‘J Pope’ over the decade under examination.

Almost all of the money was said to have been taken out of the bank accounts in cash and a cash card with the name ‘J Pope’ on was also said to have been found at Jones’ home.

He generated more than £1million in profit over the decade.

About £300,000 in income tax and national insurance should have been paid, along with about £250,000 in VAT.

A sentencing date is yet to be set.

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