‘Greedy’ Christchurch builder failed to pay tax

A “greedy” builder from Dorset has been jailed after failing to pay almost £110,000 in tax while working on high-end projects in London.

Christopher Nash, of Christchurch, pocketed £49,000 in cash and cashed cheques totalling £199,000 as he completed building and construction schemes in the capital over the course of seven years. But he was foiled following an investigation by HMRC.

Officials found the 60-year-old had failed to pay any income tax or National Insurance Contributions between April 2010 and April 2017. In total, he cheated taxpayers out of £108,131.

During the investigation into another Christchurch builder, Carlo Russell, it was discovered that the two men had worked closely together and earned hundreds of thousands of pounds between April 2010 and April 2015. Russell, who had given Nash the £49,000 cash, was jailed for two years and four months in June 2017 for evading tax and National Insurance.

He was also ordered to repay £141,453 after a court heard he bought two houses mortgage-free while claiming it was “virtually impossible” to make a profit in the trade.

Nash was sentenced to 30 months in prison by a judge sitting at Bournemouth Crown Court. Proceedings are under way to recover his ill-gotten gains.

Zoe Ellerbeck, assistant director for HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “As a self-employed builder, Nash knew of his responsibilities to pay tax and National Insurance Contributions. He was well paid for his services but he got greedy.

“Nash made a conscious decision to cheat the public purse, but he was caught out and now he’s behind bars.”

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