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Fraudsters fail in bid to clear their names

 Published on: 10th October 2018   |   By: Jason Allen   |   Category: Uncategorized

A family of fraudsters led by a man from Stanmore failed in a Court of Appeal bid to clear their names last month.

Geoffrey Copp, 57, of Holland Close, his son Joshua, of Stotfold and brother Andrew of Hemel Hempstead,  ripped off the public purse to the tune of £44m in a huge VAT scam today and lived luxurious lifestyles on the proceeds of their multi-million pound scam.

It revolved around two payroll companies, which they used to invoice client employment agencies for VAT and then pocketed it.

All three were convicted of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and jailed at Wood Green Crown Court in June last year.

Geoffrey got 10-and-a-half years; Joshua, of eight years, and Andrew, nine years.

Earlier this month they took their case to the Court of Appeal in a challenge to their convictions, but saw their cases thrown out by three top judges.

Mr Justice King, sitting with Lord Justice Davis and Mrs Justice May, said the convictions were fair.

“This was a form of fraudulent conduct which resulted in the diversion of money from the Revenue and deprivation of the Revenue of money to which it was entitled,” he said.

The court heard the scam ran from early 2012 to late 2015 and involved their two Rickmansworth-based companies.

After invoicing their clients for the value of wages paid out, they failed to report it to HMRC.

It was then distributed between them and used to fund “luxury lifestyles”.

All three denied that they had been dishonest, but were found guilty by the jury.

Appealing, they argued that an incorrect legal ruling by the trial judge meant their convictions were unsafe, while Andrew said he had new evidence to back his defence.

But the appeal judge said there was nothing in any of their arguments to justify overturning the jury’s guilty verdicts.

The appeal applications were refused and the convictions upheld.

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