Three people from the Market Rasen area have been found guilty of being part of a £5 million scam to defraud taxpayers through sales of red diesel.
Michael Wilmot, 72, of Low Road, Osgodby, Tracie Morton, 50, of Toft-next-Newton and former Market Rasen Town Councillor David Strachan, 50, of Peak Mews, Market Rasen, were found guilty by a jury yesterday afternoon, Thursday June 19.
Wilmot pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to evade paying excise duty on Government-subsidised fuels between March 1, 2006, and March 30, 2012, and conspiracy to cheat Her Majesty’s Revenue when the trial began in April.
He was convicted of both charges as was Morton.
Strachan, who was convicted of conspiracy to evade payment but cleared of conspiracy to cheat the Revenue.
Wilmot’s cousin, Charles Trafford, 59, of Glebe Farm Cottage, Osgodby, was cleared in his absence of both charges.
The jury is still considering verdicts on Michael Taylor, 38, of Waterloo Street, Market Rasen. Marion Tompkins, 57, of Little Tows, near Ludford, was cleared of conspiracy to evade payment, but the jury is still considering the other count.
They all denied both charges.
The prosecution claimed Wilmot was the central figure in the scam selling large amounts of reduced-cost red diesel.
The prosecution claimed that Trafford, a farmer, sold “massive quantities” of red diesel to others, mainly Wilmot, through a network of companies that were used to front the scam.
Morton was Wilmot’s accomplice in actively trying to reclaim VAT payments wrongfully.
He denied being involved with the other defendants in the red diesel scam, including using Tompkins for administrative support.
Strachan, a driver, was stopped in vehicles that had red diesel in them and had a key to a barn where there were tanks for heavy goods vehicles.