Farming brothers guilty of VAT fraud

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A County Armagh man, the last of three farming brothers to be prosecuted for their roles in a £140,000 VAT repayment fraud, has been sentenced after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Ronald John Sinclair Halliday (52), a farmer from Whitecross, played a central role in the fraud by forging invoices showing the purchase or hire of supplies and equipment, which allowed his brothers to make fraudulent repayment claims.

HMRC began investigating Halliday and his brothers, Pastor Gordon William Barrie Halliday from Mountnorris and Richard Jonathan Kris Halliday from Keady, in 2013.

The businesses and individuals, whose names were used on the falsified documents, confirmed the invoices were false and handwriting analysis, by the Forensic Science Agency of Northern Ireland, concluded that it was likely some were written by Ronald Halliday.

Ronald Halliday, who pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the fraudulent evasion of excise duty, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, when he appeared at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday, June 28.

Gordon Halliday was given nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months, when he pleaded guilty to 17 counts of VAT repayment fraud at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday, June 21.

Richard Halliday was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, when he pleaded guilty to seven counts of VAT repayment fraud at the same court on the same date.