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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 August 2006, 00:21 GMT 01:21 UK
Ex-detective told to repay 1.6m
Neil Walker
Walker had lived a lavish lifestyle in Las Vegas
A former Nottinghamshire policeman who was jailed over a major VAT fraud has been ordered to pay back more than 1.6m or face four more years in jail.

Neil Walker, 50, a former detective from Gunthorpe, Notts, and eight others were found guilty of importing mobile phones and falsely collecting VAT.

Walker masterminded the phone fraud from a Spanish villa.

His trial in 2003 was told he was arrested at his house in Las Vegas where he had lived a life of luxury.

He had spent his days there gambling on the stock market and in the city's casinos.

12m confiscation

Steven Chapman, 40, from Newark, who set up a company with Walker in 1996, has been ordered to repay 2.5m.

He also must serve another four years in jail on top of his original four-year term if he does not repay the money to the government.

The confiscation orders were made after a series of confiscation hearings at Nottingham and Birmingham Crown Courts.

In total, seven men have been ordered to repay nearly 12m to the government. Two other men convicted along with them were not issued any compensation orders.

The men were sentenced to a total of 30 years in jail at a series of trials between 2003 and 2006.

Complex sales network

The scam involved UK retailers who were charged VAT by the firm but the money was not paid to the government.

Nick Burriss, assistant chief investigation officer for HM Revenue and Customs, said: "This sends out a clear warning to those involved in missing trader, or carousel fraud as it is more commonly known, that we are committed to tackling fraud and returning the profits to the Treasury to fund vital public services such as hospitals and schools.

Walker moved to Las Vegas in 1998 from Benidorm, Spain, having worked there as a mobile phones wholesaler after leaving the police force on health grounds in 1990.

The scam relied on a complex sales network in which Walker set up firms in Britain and registered for VAT, allowing them to buy goods VAT-free from EU member states.

He then shipped mobile phones to Britain and sold them to other distributors inclusive of VAT, pocketing the difference.

The other men ordered to pay back money received in the fraud were: Imran Karim, 29,of Oadby, Leicestershire (2.2m), James George Thomas Brooman, 56, of Horncastle, Lincolnshire (700,000), Iftekhar Ahmed, 36, of Hawkridge Gardens, Nottingham (1.2m), Ian Cale, 59, of West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire (141,337), and David Hodgson, 49, of Louth, Lincolnshire (15,649).

Chapman has lodged an appeal against the confiscation order.


SEE ALSO
Former policeman jailed for fraud
27 Oct 03 |  Nottinghamshire

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