A NORTHFIELD teacher who stole £100,000 in tax repayments to spend on gambling, golfing and Leeds United football matches has been handed a suspended 21-month prison sentence.
Blaine Wakeman, 26, of Spiceland Road, lied about purchases and financial losses from his two companies which provided children’s sports coaching to fraudulently claim VAT repayments, an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed.
HMRC checks raised concerns over the tax returns of Wakeman’s companies Sports Plus Scheme Staffordshire and Inspire Sports Education Limited and a criminal investigation was launched in June 2016.
Wakeman, who is now working as a PE teacher in Solihull, initially denied any wrongdoing and produced fake invoices and bank statements to support his lies. But in October 2017 he admitted producing the false documents and fraudulently claiming VAT repayments between October 2013 and August 2016.
Richard Young, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Wakeman knew what he was doing was wrong. He was abusing the tax system to fund a lifestyle he couldn’t legitimately afford.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime. It affects us all by depriving the public services of vital funding.”
Anyone with any information about tax fraud can report it online or by contacting the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.