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A HOCKLEY Heath tycoon who conned tax officials out of £34 million has been handed one of the longest sentences for fraud in British criminal history.

A HOCKLEY Heath tycoon who conned tax officials out of £34 million has been handed one of the longest sentences for fraud in British criminal history.

Thomas Scragg, 56, of Rotherhams Oak Lane, was jailed for a total of 17 years following three separate fraud convictions against HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

The latest, in March 2011, was for stealing millions of pounds in employee PAYE tax following a joint investigation by West Midlands Police and HMRC.

The extent of Scragg’s criminal empire has remained a secret until this week as cases against his two henchmen – Carl and Anthony Johnson from Wolverhampton – progressed through the criminal courts.

But the brothers’ convictions on Monday (July 9) for money laundering Scragg’s ill-gotten gains has now lifted reporting restrictions.

DCI Shaun Edwards said: “This was fraud and money laundering on a massive scale; it deprived the public purse of millions of pounds and Scragg’s audacity is shown by the fact he continued the fraud in various guises even after he knew he was being investigated.

“A number of my officers have devoted the last five-and-a-half years to bringing these men to justice.”

Scragg spent his money on an extravagant lifestyle of sports cars, meals and posh restaurants. Ten other men have been convicted on charges including conspiracy to defraud HM Revenue and Customs, conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and money-laundering.xman#ixzz20IQIar00

 

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