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VAT fraudsters jailed

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Three men who conned several UK companies by pretending that they had entered into a £15m contract with Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing to promote tourism in Dubai, have been jailed. After the target businesses had agreed to sell advertising space, the conmen asked for invoices that remained unpaid but were then used to support a fraudulent VAT claim amounting to £1.9m. All three defendants had denied fraud offences but were found guilty after a trial in February 2014. They were sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on 16 May with sentences ranging from three and a half to six years imprisonment.