Somerset PR adviser Richard Hillgrove found guilty of £93,000 tax fraud

  • 27 March 2014
  • From the section Somerset

A public relations adviser has been convicted of failing to pay £93,000 in VAT and National Insurance contributions.

Richard Hillgrove, 42, of Somerton, Somerset, had denied cheating the public revenue over a 12-month period.

Bristol Crown Court heard money that should have been paid to HM Revenue & Customs was instead used for "extravagant" purchases.

Hillgrove said he "always intended to pay" and would appeal.

During the trial the jury was told that Hillgrove had pocketed £52,000 of VAT, charged to his customers, and £41,000 in taxes deducted from his employees' wages in 2011 and 2012.

He spent the money on hotels, restaurants and school fees.

Hillgrove is due to be sentenced at a later date.

Following the trial, he said "complicating factors and inconsistencies" in the prosecution evidence had been confusing for the jury.

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