Not guilty pleas in £1m Rasen fraud case

Court news
Court news

Eight residents, including a town councillor, have pleaded not guilty to VAT and tax fraud in excess of £1m, Hull Crown Court has heard.

The court heard how 
the residents, who are all 
from the Market Rasen area, have 
denied fraudulently evading excise duty on hydrocarbon 
oils, using red diesel as fuel for HGVs, 
evading VAT by obtaining payment of VAT credits and failing to account to the public revenue in respect of tax levied on sales and supplies of goods and 
services.

They also deny failing to declare a true income from self-employment and failing to pay income tax, national insurance and corporation 
tax.

They each face a total of 12 charges.

The residents - including 49-year-old Market Rasen town councillor David Strachan - were charged by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after a series of 
raids as part of an investigation into illicit fuel use and VAT fraud in 
Lincolnshire.

The other people are Michael Wilmot, 71, of Low Road, Market Rasen, Charles Trafford, 59, 
of Osgodby, Derek Blackburn, 58, of Station Road, Moortown, Tracie Morton, 49, of Toft next Newton, Michael Taylor, 
37, of Waterloo Street, Market 
Rasen, John Raithby, 58, of Snitterby Road, Waddingham and Marion Tompkins, of Little Tows, 
Ludford.

Early morning raids in June 2012 saw police seize documents, computers and 
a van equipped with re-fuelling facilities.

Officers found dismantled equipment suspected of being used to adapt fuel tanks to use illicit red diesel - marked gas oil or a rebated fuel not to be used in road 
vehicles.

HMRC assistant director Peter Hollier said: “HMRC 
takes the illegal use of red 
diesel and tax fraud seriously and will 
not hesitate to investigate 
those suspected of 
stealing public funds.”

All eight accused are due to stand trial at Hull 
Crown Court on March 3 next 
year.

They have been given bail until this date and the case has been 
adjourned.