Updated: Jan 2
A taxi operator boss who used stolen taxes to help buy a £3.8 million mansion has been sentenced to six years in prison, following an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
David Park, 73, from Bracknell, the Director of Berkshire Education Travel Limited, was providing home-to-school taxi and private hire vehicle services for Wokingham Borough and Bracknell Forest councils.
He invoiced the local authorities some £777,000 in VAT for the cab services provided, with more than £697,000 being paid by Bracknell Forest and £79,000 by Wokingham Borough. Mr Park failed, however, to pay the tax to HMRC and kept the money.
Matthew Moignard, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “David Park is a tax cheat who chose to line his own pockets rather than pay the tax that he knew was due. The money he stole robbed our vital public services of much-needed funds.
Park was arrested on 24 November 2016 and he and his company were both charged with two counts of cheating the public revenue and one of transferring criminal property.
He and his company denied the charges but were found guilty on all counts after a trial at Reading Crown Court. The jury heard that he used a substantial proportion of the monies paid to his company to buy a £3.8 million property in rural Berkshire.
Mr Park was sentenced to six years at the same court on 17 October 2022. He was disqualified from being a company director for seven years.
HMRC is seeking to recover the stolen money through confiscation.