A Daventry father and son who drove Ferraris and Aston Martins and enjoyed luxury holidays have been sentenced after funding their extravagant lifestyle through fraud and money laundering.
Geoffrey Butchers, 71, and his son Phillip Butchers, 30, of Woodford Halse, Daventry, were sentenced at Northampton Crown Court yesterday (September 4) after the father pleaded guilty to VAT fraud to the value of £1,582,501 and his son pleaded guilty to laundering £199,440 in August 2019.
Nick Stone, assistant director of HM Revenue & Custom's (HMRC) fraud investigation service, said: "“This fraud funded an extravagant lifestyle these men could not legitimately afford.
"They hid more than £40,000 in a bathroom safe and drove around in super-cars whilst other honest, hard-working people paid the taxes they owed."
An investigation into the fraud led to a search of the family home in July 2016 where £42,000 was found hidden in a safe.
They refused to hand over the codes to the safe, which was in an en-suite bathroom, but it was eventually opened and the money was seized.
Geoffrey Butchers lied to HRMC about his businesses to avoid paying VAT.
He registered his first business, Autojoint, in 2004 and said he ceased trading three years later but the business actually continued until 2015 and did not submit any VAT returns.
In 2014, he had registered a second business, Horseboxseller Ltd., but lied about the value of the business on his returns and failed to pay correct VAT.
Mr Stone said: “We will now do all we can to recover the stolen cash from this father and son.”
Geoffrey Butchers has been sentenced to 26 months in prison and his son Phillip has been sentenced to 20 months in prison suspended for two years.
Phillip Butchers has been ordered to carry out 180 hours unpaid work and pay costs of £2,000.
Anyone with information about people or businesses involved or suspected of being involved in fraud can call HRMC's fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.