A company director has been spared jail despite admitting to fraudulently claiming more than £23,000 in tax returns.
Lee Dibble, aged 33, was the sole director of Cannock Ceilings and Partitions Ltd when he pocketed the money between 2008 and 2012, Cannock Magistrates heard. He admitted making false claims on forms submitted to HM Revenue and Customs.
Prosecuting, Mr Andrew Bodger told the court Dibble would ‘pick figures out of the air’ and submit VAT claims, despite knowing them to be false.
“The evidence in this matter is based on VAT returns completed and sent by Mr Dibble,” Mr Bodger told the court yesterday.
“He did so dishonestly with intention of receiving money he was not entitled to.”
Probation officer Ms Jenny Smith told the court Dibble set up the firm in 2008, when he registered the company for VAT.
“However as problems developed he got rid of his accountant and continued to make his own claims for VAT,” she said. “The money went on living expenses.”
Defending Dibble, Mr Paul Jenkins told the court the false claims came about once his client’s firm began to struggle and he could no longer afford to employ an accountant.
Dibble was sentenced to four months, suspended for 12 months. He must also pay back the amount in full and pay £80 costs plus a £100 victim surcharge. He was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work with a supervision order of 12 months.