Saturday 30 November 2013

Starting Off Right??

The Apprentice wannabe who was fleecing the VAT man

After boasting on his application form to appear on The Apprentice that he was prepared to commit VAT fraud, a student is convicted of tax offences

A student who boasted he was prepared to commit VAT fraud in an application to appear on the BBC series The Apprentice, has been convicted of tax offences.

Revenues inspectors found the form when conducting a search of Max Tappenden’s university accommodation, while they were investigating him.

The 23-year-old had written “I’d commit VAT Fraud!,” in response to the question: “Describe something you would do if you knew you would not get caught.”

He also told programme makers he would feel no regret and would use the money from the fraud as “start up” cash for his entrepreneurial plans.

Tappenden was last week convicted of illegally obtaining £11,125 pounds from HM Revenue and Customs by filing three bogus VAT claims for his IT firm. He had apparently attempted to get on the show at the same time he carried out his deception.

Canterbury Court heard that he did not even own his own PC but claimed to be trading in the development and sales of computer software.

He had registered for VAT in April 2012 as Tealbury Limited, later known as Wavedon Internet Ltd, while studying web design at the University of Kent.

However, tax officials found he had been using university computers to falsify sales figures and invoices in order to claim back VAT that he was not entitled to.

Tappenden, of Caldecote, Milton Keynes, Bucks, was sentenced to 150 hours of community service, given a three month home detention curfew, ordered to pay £1,200 in costs and banned from being a company director or running a company for the next five years.

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