A Glasgow man has been jailed for 16 months after steering his own £190,000 tax fraud.

Richard Cusick, of Reidvale Street, submitted false VAT repayments claims over two years, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found.

The former bus driver set up Discount Business Utilities Ltd, but when he was made bankrupt and no longer eligible to be a company director, he created a fictitious director called Robert Gallacher to take control of the business.

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Acting under his alias, the 31-year-old received a total of £190,000 by making false repayment claims before asking to deregister his company for VAT – which HMRC queried.

Instead of coming clean and admitting the fraud, Cusick submitted more false repayment claims.

When HMRC compliance officers visited ”Robert Gallacher” in October 2017, Cusick revealed his true identity and admitted his company had never traded.

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Cheryl Burr, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The stolen tax in this case is equivalent to the annual salaries of eight ambulance technicians’ in Scotland.

"Our taxes should be funding our vital public services not lining the pockets of criminals like Cusick.

“HMRC will continue to pursue criminals who attack the tax system.”

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Cusick pleaded guilty to the evasion of VAT between May 2015 and July 2017 at Glasgow Sheriff Court on April 3 and was sentenced to 16 months in jail when he appeared before the same court today.