A Norfolk tax fraudster who claimed he was a spy in an attempt to cover his tracks has been ordered to pay £615,000 or face a further five years behind bars.
Raymond Thomas, 73, was jailed for four years and eight months in November 2017, after a HMRC investigation found he had stolen £1.6 million.
In an attempt to hide his crime, Thomas told family and friends he was a spy and often worked abroad. In reality, he was travelling to holiday homes funded by his fraud in Berlin, Kefalonia and Perpignan with his wife, Susan Weston, 70, who helped to launder the money.
Martin Lynagh, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Thomas lived a life of luxury funded by taxpayers, but we put an end to that. Not only has he been jailed, but he will now have to sell assets to repay the stolen money.”
Thomas was ordered to pay back £616,551 and Weston £439,551 within three months at Manchester Crown Court on 24 June. They will receive default prison sentences and if they don’t pay Thomas will go to prison for five years and Weston for four years.
Even if a default sentence is served the order for repayment remains and the money is still owed.