HMRC triggers £1.2m payback from gun fan

A millionaire businessman serving four years in prison after failing to pay £1.3m in tax has been ordered to payback £1,232,189, or serve a further eight years in prison and still owe the money

Peter Duffield, from Orpington, failed to submit a single tax return on his earnings for seven years, telling investigators he was not a ’paperwork person’.

An investigation by HMRC also found the haulage business and clay shooting club owner had failed to declare the profits from the sale of three properties.

Gun enthusiast Duffield will lose a number of properties to pay back what he owes. When Duffield was arrested in June 2015, £20,000 in cash found in his car and wardrobe was also seized and used in payment towards his tax debt.

Now a confiscation hearing at Central Criminal Court has ordered him to pay £1,232,189 within three months otherwise he will serve an extra eight years in prison.

HMRC said investigations showed Duffield owns a number of properties in Orpington, Welling and Dartford as well as land in Swanley. He will have to sell some of the properties to meet the confiscation order.

Nicol Sheppard, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: ‘Crime really doesn’t pay. We’re determined to recover stolen tax from criminals who think they can steal from the public purse and get away with it.

‘This confiscation order shows that we don’t stop once someone has been jailed, but our actions continue until we have deprived criminals of their illegal profits. This recovered cash will be directed to where it should have been - toward funding vital public services.’

There is no appeal against default jail sentences issued in confiscation orders and the order for repayment remains in place after the default sentence is served by the fraudster.

If the assets held by the convicted criminal at the time of the order are less than the benefit derived from the fraud, then any future assets can be confiscated up to the value of the benefit of the fraud.

Report by Pat Sweet

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