A BRITISH businessman, who used cash from an 11.2m, international tax scam to buy a luxury Costa del Sol home, has been jailed.
Leeds Crown Court heard that Jason Butler, 46, stole millions in VAT, after forging hundreds of fake invoices.
A probe by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed that he tried to bury the scam in a complex web of companies in the UK, Spain, Gibraltar and the US.
He used the cash to fund a lavish lifestyle, splashing out on a plush villa in Marbella, plus sports cars, including a Ferrari Fiorano FI, a Ferrari 360, a Lamborghini Murcielago and a Mercedes SL350.
Butler, reportedly, ran a series of companies in his native Leeds, before emigrating to Spain. He told investigators he had spent almost 70m euros buying personal, payment-protection insurance data from nine UK-based firms between 2011 and 2015.
But, it was revealed, he had actually been trading worthless raw information, before filing bogus receipts.
After been detained by police at Manchester Airport after stepping off a flight from Malaga, he has now been found guilty of tax fraud and given a nine-year prison sentence.
Eden Noblett, of the HMRC Fraud Investigation Service, told UK media: “Butler thought he was clever, and that his scam too sophisticated to be uncovered. But, he was not as clever as he believed.
“This case should serve as a warning to anyone considering stealing taxpayer’s money. No matter how clever and sophisticated you think your fraud is, we will catch you.”
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