A self-employed consultant quantity surveyor who earned almost £1m over a 20 year working period but failed to pay any tax has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison following an HMRC investigation.
John Powell, from Kenilworth in Warwickshire, worked as a quantity surveyor in the civil engineering industry, mainly on new building complexes in both the UK and overseas, but did not declare his earnings or pay an income tax or National Insurance.
Birmingham Crown Court heard Powell owed HMRC nearly £260,000 in taxes, but spent the money on properties, including the cash purchase of a villa in Antibes on the French Riviera.
Richard Meadows, HMRC assistant director, criminal investigation, said: 'This fraud was all about enhancing Powell's lifestyle. It is not acceptable to exploit the UK tax system at the expense of others who pay what is due, when it is due.'