Man who filed fake Vat returns to give details of assets

A former company director, who filed fraudulent Vat returns over two years, has been ordered to furnish a court with details of his assets, ahead of a sentencing hearing.

Sean Hartigan of Prestige Recycling Limited, which had a company address at North Circular Rd, Limerick, has pleaded guilty at Limerick Circuit Court to six charges under the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997.

The offences which involved filing incorrect VAT returns which amounted to a total discrepancy of €188,000 and false Vat repayment claims of €35,000 occurred on dates between Sep 2005 and Feb 2007.

The court heard Prestige Recycling, which is now in liquidation, provided labour to waste company Veolia to carry out segregation and compacting of recycled waste.

Counsel for the State, John O’Sullivan BL, said the essence of the prosecution case was not that Hartigan had charged Veolia the incorrect Vat rate, but that he had received money which he did not account for and that he had submitted Vat returns with nil on them when this was false.

When questioned by Revenue Officers, Hartigan admitted that he had instructed his bookkeeper to file the Vat returns.

The court heard from Inspector of Taxes Fiona Phelan that there was still a significant amount of money owed to the Revenue Commissioners and that no proposal has been received regarding the repayment of these outstanding monies.

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