North West: Golf club fraudster jailed

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Andrew Buckner jailed for 30 months after stealing almost £112,000

A Bury fraudster stole nearly £112,000 by claiming he was organising celebrity and charity events at golf clubs around the region.

Andrew Buckner, 46, was jailed for 30 months after pleading guilty to charges of fraudulent evasion of VAT through the company he set up, named Kid Rock Events.

Among his victims were Worlsey Park Marriott, while he also tried to arrange hospitality packages at the Ryder Cup for 50 people.

Sandra Smith, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “Buckner would visit golf venues and discuss large events, but as the date got closer communication would cease and no event would take place.”
‘He also created aliases to deceive the golf clubs in this fraud’ Smith added: “It is clear he created the company purely to defraud the AT system for his own personal gain at the expense of the taxpayer.”

Buckner would contact golf clubs to say he was organising events, often for army veteran charities. He also approached Bolton Wanderers FC.

Faked paperwork would then be sent through to the clubs to make the scam look genuine. He then sent the invoices to HMRC and claimed £111,981 in VAT repayments over three years between 2009 and 2012.

During this period Buckner was also claiming £18,000 per year in state benefits.

None of the clubs or venues he contacted were in any way involved in the fraud, and Buckner received his sentence following an appearance at Bolton Crown Court.

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