A young farmer was sentenced to community service after he tried to steal almost £60,000 in a VAT fraud.
John James Moane, 19, from Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland, submitted a number of VAT repayment claims in relation to the hire of machinery and plant for his farming business.
However, an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) discovered that these invoices were fake and the machinery did not exist.
Further investigations revealed that Mr Moane had also altered the dates and names on the invoices in order to reclaim the VAT to which he was not entitled.
Mr Moane, from Teigeshill Road, Fivemiletown, was sentenced to two years probation and 95 hours community service when he appeared at Dungannon Crown Court on 27 May.
Mike Parkinson, assistant director of HMRC’s Criminal Investigations, said: “(Mr) Moane deliberately set out to create a false paper trail so that he could claim money that he was not entitled to. He manipulated a system that exists for the benefit of legitimate companies with the sole purpose of lining his own pockets.
“He knew he was breaking the law, yet chose to overlook it for the opportunity of making what he wrongly assumed would be easy money, at the expense of the taxpayer.”