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34M TAX FRAUD RACKET JAILED

A man who conned tax officials out of £34 million and funded a lavish lifestyle of luxury hotels and restaurants has been jailed for one of the longest sentences in British criminal fraud history. Thomas Scragg, 56, was jailed for a total of 17 years following three separate fraud convictions against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) ~ the latest, in March 2011, for stealing millions of pounds in employee PAYE tax. The conman from Solihull, West Mids. used his business Moya Payroll which managed staff wages of construction industry companies  to steal over £26m in tax over a five year period between 2002 and 2007. Other investigations revealed a further £8m of stolen PAYE tax in a 10-month period from April 2007 to February 2008.His co-defendant, Paul Phillips from Derbyshire, was jailed for nine years.The latest conviction for offences in March 2011, followed a joint investigation by West Midlands Police and HMRC.The extent of Scraggs racket has remained a secret until now as cases against his two henchmen Carl Johnson, 49, and his brother Anthony, 51, from Wolverhampton  progressed through court.

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