David Lloyd Francis, 44, from Bridgend, who operated the Cars to Go car exporting business from his former home in Church Village, near Pontypridd, found himself in court after enquiries revealed all his sales were based on false purchase invoices and shipping documentation. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment at Cardiff Crown Court today (Thursday).
Francis and two accomplices – Ketan Hasmukh Kansara of Pinner, London and John Brian Capper from Goole in Yorkshire - were involved in a scam where high value cars were supposedly bought and then sold on to individuals outside the European Union. Genuine sales can attract a VAT repayment, however all of their transactions were falsified.
Francis also traded as DFMotors, and fraudulently attempted to reclaim the VAT on a vehicle he did not own, claiming that it was an asset of his business.
Speaking after sentencing Simon De Kayne, Assistant Director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC said:
“Francis and his co-defendants planned a calculated attack on the VAT repayment system. They attempted to undercut honest businesses, which claim only what they are entitled to, in a cynical ‘get rich quick’ plan that was thwarted by our investigation.
“An additional £900m is being invested in HMRC’s efforts to identify and reduce tax fraud, avoidance and evasion. Anyone with information about tax fraud can help us further by calling the customs hotline on 0800 59 5000, or by emailing us at
Francis and Capper had both denied being involved in the fraud but were found guilty following a trial that ended on 25 May 2012. They were both jailed for 12 months. Kansara entered a guilty plea before the trial began and was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. Kansara must also complete 100 hours of community service and pay £1,000 costs.
In 2009 Francis submitted a VAT return claiming a £41k repayment in respect of six vehicles sold over a three-month period. HMRC officers soon established that one of these vehicles, a Toyota Landcruiser, had previously been sold and exported by Kansara in 2008. Another vehicle was Kansara’s own; two were in use by third parties in London while the remaining two did not exist. Checks with the shipping agents quoted in the claim showed the forms and letterheads were not genuine, and they had no knowledge of the vehicles or Francis. Kansara had created the bogus documentation and emailed it to Capper who in turn forwarded it on to Francis.
Kansara, 47 from Middlesex and trading as Haskan Ltd submitted a VAT repayment claim in 2009 for almost £36,000. This claim related to the purchase and export of a Toyota Landcruiser and six Mercedes cars to Thailand. The Toyota Landcruiser invoice was identical to that submitted by Francis. Payment for the Mercedes vehicles was not made by Kansara or his company but by a third party.
Capper, 46, from North Humberside was responsible for introducing Francis and Kansara. The former car broker initially claimed to be a middleman who was unaware that the emails he was passing between the two men contained the false documentation. A search at Capper’s home revealed invoices for the same vehicles that Francis and Kansara had claimed to have purchased. Capper’s handwriting was also found on several of the invoices submitted by Francis as supporting documentation.
Notes for editors
1. Defendants’ details:
David Lloyd Francis of 13, Palalwyf Avenue, Pontyclun, Bridgend. DOB 15/06/68. Occupation: car salesman. At the time of the offences he lived in Church Village, Rhondda Cynon Taff.
Ketan Hasmukh Kansara of 259 Tolcarne Drive, Pinner, Middlesex. DOB 09/10/63. Occupation: company director.
John Brian Capper of 20 Manor Fields, Rawcliffe, Goole, North Humberside. DOB 10/10/64. Occupation: unemployed / self employed car salesman.
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