A medium who toured the world and promoted his spiritual abilities online has failed to foresee the consequences of hiding information from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and has been given an eight-month jail sentence over a £170,000 tax and benefit fraud committed with his wife
Staffordshire Crown Court heard that Timothy Abbott pleaded guilty to failing to pay almost £10,000 in income tax and national insurance, as well as claiming more than £58,000 in disability benefits over a five-year period.
A joint investigation by HMRC and DWP found Abbott had performed around the UK and toured Canada, Switzerland and Iceland as a spiritualist tutor, while all the time failing to declare his earnings to HMRC.
At the same time he was claiming disability and incapacity benefits to which he was not entitled.
Abbott’s wife Janette pleaded guilty to benefit fraud totalling almost £103,000, making the couple’s combined fraud worth almost £171,000.
Colin Booker, assistant director, criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: ‘Abbott exploited the benefits and tax systems in two ways: he failed to tell DWP a medical condition had improved to get disability benefits, claiming he was unfit for work, and then brazenly failed to declare his earnings as he toured the world.’