BREAKING NEWS: Gambler who cheated £88,000 from taxpayers is jailed.

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

A 28-year-old gambling addict has been jailed for 15-months after trying to cheat the taxpayer out of £88,000.

Matthew Johnson, 28, from Cherrytree Gardens, Crowle, submitted false tax returns for two years, claiming he had overpaid tax from a former employer in order to fund his gambling addiction.

He was only discovered following an investigation by HM Revenue & Customs, and was arrested for tax evasion in January this year.

During police interview, Johnson admitted he had a good understanding of the tax self assessment process and knew the returns he had submitted were false.

He also told officers that he had committed the fraud simply to feed his gambling addiction.

Peter Hollier, Assistant Director for Criminal Investigation, said: “Matthew Johnson attempted to fraudulently play the tax system; he lied about his employment status, his earnings and manipulated his tax deductions so that it appeared he was eligible for a tax repayment.

“People, who commit tax fraud or those who may consider it should think again. We carry out regular checks and where we suspect fraud we will investigate and seek to prosecute those involved.”

Johnson submitted a tax return in 2009/10 and subsequently applied for a tax rebate of £48,500, claiming he had overpaid his tax for the year.

The following year he attempted the same process, submitting an original tax return, and then making amendments, claiming he was owed £39,452 in overpaid tax.

HMRC officers grew suspicious so contacted his employer who told them that Johnson has lied in his tax returns and had only worked for them for a short time in 2008.