Third brother sentenced for farming VAT repayment fraud
A Co 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 Drumnahunshin Road, 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, Newry Crown Court was told.
HMRC began investigating Halliday and his brothers, Pastor Gordon William Barrie Halliday, 49, from Bessbrook Road, Mountnorris and Richard Jonathan Kris Halliday, 42, from Maddens Road, 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 was sentenced to twelve months imprisonment, suspended for eighteen months when he appeared at Newry Crown Court on Wednesday, June 28. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to the fraudulent evasion of Excise Duty contrary to Section 170 of the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
At Newry Crown Court on Wednesday, June 21, Gordon Halliday was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for eighteen months, when he pleaded guilty to seventeen counts of VAT repayment fraud while Richard Halliday was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for eighteen months, when he pleaded guilty to seven counts of VAT repayment fraud.