Millionaire went under fake names - court told

A SOMERSET millionaire cheated the Government out of more than half a million pounds by setting up businesses and bank accounts in false names, a court has heard.

Samuel Jones is said to have 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 stood trial at Bristol Crown Court this week accused of one count of national insurance and income tax evasion, failing to register a business as VAT paying and failing to send off VAT returns.

He denies 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.

Jones, said to have been known to many customers as John Pope, is accused of running businesses under multiple names, including JP Paving, J Pope Tarmac Contractors, Diamond Stone Paving, Diamond Driveways and JP Pope.

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

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

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She said that a number of customers had already identified Jones as the same man who carried out work at their properties under the name John Pope.

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.

She said he was also insured under his real name on a tipper truck found at one of his properties.

Ms Brunner added: “He deliberately and dishonestly failed to pay tax while he ran a business across the South West.

“He was reaping the benefits of the family business and evading tax.

“For a decade he enjoyed the profits without paying tax, calling his businesses by many different names and used false names and addresses for himself.

“The main name he used was John Pope and the prosecution says this is the same man as the defendant.”

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 is 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.

Ms Brunner added: “This was all designed to hide his growing wealth.

“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.”

The trial, set to last two weeks, continues.

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