Legal bid to reclaim £161,000 from potato merchant VAT fraudster

Image source, PPA
Image caption, Scott Coupland was jailed for two-and-a-half years in February

A Perthshire potato merchant who carried out a £161,000 tax evasion is facing a legal challenge by prosecutors to reclaim the money.

Scott Coupland, 48, was jailed for two-and-a-half years in February after being found guilty after a four-day trial at Perth Sheriff Court.

The Crown Office has now launched the action under Proceeds of Crime legislation.

Coupland was brought from prison for a brief procedural hearing on the claim.

The case was set down for a proof hearing at Perth Sheriff Court in December.

Coupland made two false VAT repayment claims between March 2011 and November 2012.

The trial heard that Coupland, sole director of WDR Coupland (Produce) Ltd, had used the money to fund his lifestyle and pay for private school fees for his children.

He aroused suspicion because of the large sums he claimed to have made in net value sales.

Coupland had offered to pay back £20,000 in an attempt to avoid a prison sentence, but Sheriff William Wood noted that no money had been paid back in four years.

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