One of the leaders of a gang of fraudsters that used computer chips as part of one of the most complex missing trader scams that HM Revenue and Customs has ever seen has been landed with a bill for £3.3m.l
Peter Pomfrett is already more than half way through an eight year jail term that was handed out in 2008, but has now been told to pay up the millions that he owed as part of a £37.5m scam in a year, or face another seven years inside.
During his time in the gang he is believed to have use the ill-gotten gains from the criminal activity to buy three properties, that are worth more than £500,000 each.
Pomfrett was one of the leading lights in a 21-strong gang that imported computer chips, mainly from Ireland, VAT-free before selling them on through a chain of companies that were in on the scam. Those firms generated invoices that added VAT before the chips were exported back to the EU, allowing them to claim credit for the tax they had paid on the goods.
Richard Meadows, assistant director, criminal investigation at HMRC, said that even after the gang had been handed prison terms, totaling 74 years between them, it felt that there was still unfinished business with the case.
"Pmofrett and his co-conspirators stole £37.5m from the public. Our investigation was long and complex, but we did not consider out job done at prosecution. Our next step was to seek confiscation of the gang's assets and [this] action is another warning to fraudsters that we well find you, build a case against you and then recover the proceeds of your crime," he said.