A gang that stole £17 million in a ‘missing trader’ VAT fraud have been jailed for a total of 12 years.

The mastermind behind the fraud, ringleader Anthony Bond, 65, from Great Missenden, and his bookkeeper Stephen Goble, 66, from Tring, were jailed for a total of more than 12 years in April 2019.

The final gang member, Taylor Sullivan, 31, from Bushey in Hertfordshire, was sentenced yesterday (April 11) for cheating the public revenue by posing as a fake scrap metal dealer.

Bond used his network of companies The Bond Group, based in Chesham, to steal VAT through a ‘missing trader’ fraud.

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He and Goble claimed to have paid millions of pounds in VAT to suppliers over a six-year period.

Bucks Free Press: Anthony BondAnthony Bond

The duo deliberately used missing traders - companies they knew would disappear and default on VAT payments - in a bid to benefit themselves by lowering their own tax liabilities by £17 million. This is money they kept instead of paying to HMRC. 

Bond used proceeds from the fraud to fund a lavish lifestyle that included a five-bedroom house, a Spanish holiday home, a fleet of high-value cars including a Bentley, Aston Martin and Range Rover, and more than half a million pounds worth of jewellery. 

Tracey Noon, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “These men stole vast amounts of money they neither earned nor deserved, taking millions of pounds away from vital public services in the UK.

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“Fuelled by greed, they thought the scam was too sophisticated to be detected – but they were wrong and the ringleaders paid the price with a prison sentence.

Bucks Free Press: Stephen GobleStephen Goble

“We will continue to pursue criminals like this who think stealing from the public purse is acceptable.”

Sullivan worked at the Bond Group and was also the company director of 3Li Ltd, which claimed to have sold £4 million in metals to The Bond Group.

The pretence of a trade between the companies enabled The Bond Group to claim input tax on the goods bought from 3Li Ltd, despite the fact the company had no history in the metal trade.

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Sullivan pleaded guilty to cheating the public revenue at Southwark Crown Court on March 4.

Bucks Free Press: Taylor SullivanTaylor Sullivan

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at the same court on April 11.

Anthony Bond, 65, of Great Missenden was jailed for seven and a half years in April 2019, alongside his bookkeeper Stephen Goble, 66, of Tring, who was jailed for five years.