Portishead nightclub owner jailed for fraudulent VAT claims

PUBLISHED: 07:55 31 March 2019 | UPDATED: 16:13 01 April 2019

Christopher Nutland was sentenced to 20 months at Bristol Crown Court. Picture: HMRC

Christopher Nutland was sentenced to 20 months at Bristol Crown Court. Picture: HMRC


A nightclub boss who tried to steal more than £77,000 by submitting fraudulent VAT repayment claims has been jailed.

Christopher Nutland, of Portishead, was sentenced to 20 months at Bristol Crown Court on Friday for frauds which spanned four years.

Nutland, aged 36 of Finisterre Parade, fraudulently claimed back more than £42,208 between July 2014 and June 2016 for his business, The Doghouse, a nightclub in Bristol.

He also made false VAT claims of £35,603 between May 2016 and July 2017 for The Nook restaurant, based in Bristol’s Commercial Road.

An investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) found Nutland had over-declared expenses, under-declared sales and used most of the stolen money on his businesses.

Richard Wilkinson, assistant director for HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “People like Nutland cheat the system and deprive vital public services of crucial funding.

“This case should serve as a warning to others that claims like this are checked and investigated.

“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime and will not be tolerated, the honest majority of business owners pay what they owe and claim back the VAT they are entitled to.

“If you know of anyone committing this type of crime, or any other kind of tax fraud, you can report them to HMRC online, or call our fraud hotline on 0800 788887.”

Information about any type of tax fraud can be reported to HMRC online by clicking here.

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