Garlic importer sees judgement reserved in jail sentence appeal

A Dublin businessman will have to wait to find out if his six-year jail sentence for a €1.6m tax scam on garlic will be reduced on appeal.

Garlic importer sees judgement reserved in jail sentence appeal

A Dublin businessman will have to wait to find out if his six-year jail sentence for a €1.6m tax scam on garlic will be reduced on appeal.

The Court of Criminal Appeal has reserved judgment in a challenge by Paul Begley of Begley Brothers Ltd in Blanchardstown, with an address in Redgap, Rathcoole to the severity of his sentence.

Mr Begley was jailed by the circuit court in March after Customs officers at Dublin Port discovered a container of garlic wrongly labelled as apples in 2007.

The head of Ireland's largest fruit and vegetable producers Begley Brothers Ltd admitted that he used fraudulent paperwork in order to avoid the exceptionally high duties importers pay on garlic.

The businessman is now appealing the severity of the sentence. His lawyers say it is harsh and disproportionate as he co-operated with authorities, pleaded guilty and made reparation payments to the Revenue.

They have described him as the architect of the case against himself.

In reply, the DPP's legal team say in terms of value, the €1.6m tax scam is at the very highest end of cases before the courts and they claim it caused a competitive disadvantage to others.

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