Housebuilder jailed for £300k VAT fraud

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THE boss of a housebuilding company who cheated the taxman out of almost £300,000 has been jailed for two years.

Avril Elliott, of Gilberstoun, pretended that her firm, Scothouses Ltd, had made VAT payments of £275,000 for goods and services.

The fraud ran over a five-year period from June 1, 2008, to September 6, 2013.

Defence solicitor Angela Craig told Edinburgh Sheriff Court yesterday that her client, who pleaded guilty, had “derived virtually no benefit from the crime”. She added: “Her sole motivation was to save the family business at a time of financial crisis.”

Sheriff Kenneth Maciver QC told Elliott, 49, he accepted that custody would cause extreme personal difficulties for her family, but said he had no choice but to jail her.