By Nigel Slater 06/07 Updated: 07/07 13:42
A FRAUDSTER who worked in Evesham has been sentenced to two and a half years in prison after stealing more than £344,000.
Ian Beale, who was a director for Evenproducts, was sentenced today (Friday) at Gloucester Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to fraud offences after falsely taking a total of £190,942 from the firm and £153,110 from HM Revenue and Customs.
The 57-year-old worked at the Blaneys Lane firm for several years and became a director with the sole responsibility for the company's accounts which included submitting VAT returns and making payments to suppliers.
Officers said Beale decided to line his own pockets by submitting false invoice payments and fake VAT input tax returns on supplies imported by the firm which manufactures water storage equipment to provide relief after natural disasters.
Beale used the proceeds to buy nine racehorses and fund the stables where they were trained by a family member.
After the verdict Adrian Farley, assistant director of the investigation for HM Revenue and Customs, said Beale was ruthless in his campaign to steal from his employer and the taxpayer.
"He gained the company's trust over a number of years and was promoted to director level but this did not satisfy him or provide any sense of loyalty," Mr Farley said.
"He continued to falsify business records for his own financial benefit.
"The prison sentence handed out by the courts today reinforces that crime does not pay as well as the detrimental impact on his family, friends and the local community."
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