Gold bars, luxury watches and rare coins will be auctioned off to recover public money stolen in a VAT fraud.

Anthony Bond, 66, from Martinsend Lane, Great Missenden, Bucks, was jailed for seven-and-a-half years in April 2019 for a ‘missing trader’ VAT fraud.

He lived a luxury lifestyle after stealing millions of pounds and some of his assets will now be sold to recover money for the public purse.

The auction follows a court order that requires Bond to pay back more than £1.8 million or face an extra eight years in jail.

Bucks Free Press: Gold bars

Bond’s companies, which were based in Chesham, Bucks, dealt mainly in scrap silver and platinum but he used the business to steal VAT through a ‘missing trader’ fraud.

Bond used stolen money to fund a lifestyle that included regular overseas travel, a Spanish holiday home, high-value cars and jewellery worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Seized items including gold bars, luxury watches and rare coins will now be auctioned to recover the stolen money.

Debbie Porter, Operational Lead, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Bond stole vast amounts of money to fund a lavish lifestyle he had neither earned nor deserved.

“Our work does not stop when a fraudster is jailed, which is something Bond has discovered with the loss of his luxury assets.

“We will continue to pursue criminals until they repay the money they stole from honest taxpayers which should be used to fund vital public services. “We urge anyone with information about tax fraud to report it to HMRC via the online form. Search ‘Report Fraud HMRC’ on GOV.UK.”

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

He used missing traders - companies he knew would disappear and default on VAT payments - to evade paying £17 million.

Missing trader fraud involves a 'missing' or 'defaulting' trader who deliberately fails to pay its VAT liability for taxable supplies made in the UK. Those supplies may pass through a number of intermediary traders before they are either sold to an end user in the UK or dispatched/exported to an overseas customer.

If Bond does not pay back £1.839,317 by April 18, 2024, he will serve an extra eight years in prison and will still owe the money when he is eventually released.