A Bury unemployed welfare claimant nicknamed ‘Mr Bullshit’ scrounged an extra £100,000 from the taxpayer – by posing as a wheeler-dealer businessman.
Jobless Andrew Buckner, 46, was already pocketing up to £18,000-a-year in state hand-outs over a ten year period – yet he managed to pull off VAT fraud.
Over three years, Buckner pretended to organise a string of charity events which allowed him to fake invoices so he could illegally claim VAT repayments from the Inland Revenue.
He filched £111,981 before revenue inspectors smelt a rat and closed down his firm Kid Rock Events.
Today, Buckner of Bury, Greater Manchester, who got his nickname due to his tall tales in his locality, was starting 30 months behind bars after he admitted tax evasion and fraud.
Tax officials are now battling to get him to repay the cash.
The scam began in 2009 after Bucker who lives in a £70,000 two-up-two-down terrace appointed himself director of KRKCI Ltd whilst claiming benefits at home.
In between signing on at a benefits office, he falsely claimed to organise ‘functions’ in the north west of England under the name Kid Rock Events.
He had contacted Bolton Wanderers Football Club plus the four-star Marriot Hotel and Country Club at Worsley Park asking if he could book their premises for events.
He also contacted several golf clubs claiming to be organising celebrity golf tournaments or events for a war veterans’ charity and proposed to host events in their clubhouses.
He even tried to arrange hospitality packages at the Ryder Cup golf tournament for 50 people under the fake company.
But in each case, as the date of the made-up event grew closer, communication would cease and the events never happened.
It emerged Buckner was faking all business activity and forging paperwork to obtain illegal VAT repayments from the Revenue by filing bogus invoices to his ‘suppliers’.
None of the clubs or venues he contacted were in any way involved in the fraud.
When Bucker was arrested he admitted he was actually unemployed and had been claiming benefits for 10 years.
His company was formally struck off by Companies House in 2012 as he had failed to manage the company appropriately under UK business rules.
At Bolton Crown Court, a judge ordered that Buckner’s laptop and documents he had used in the scam be destroyed.
After the case, Sandra Smith, assistant director of criminal investigation at HMRC, said: “Buckner would visit golf venues and discuss large events but as the date got closer communication would cease and no event would take place.
“He also created aliases to deceive the golf clubs and others in this fraud. It is clear he created the company purely to defraud the VAT system for his own personal gain at the expense of the taxpayer.”
One neighbour said: “Buckner was nicknamed Mr Bullshit because he was always coming out with these fantastic stories showing photos on his mobile of the special forces and his American friends.
“He would go on about his American friends in the special forces. I spent two years in the forces so I knew he was talking crap. He was just coming out with fantastic fairy stories almost as if he was trying to keep up with the Joneses.
“I asked him if he had served and he said no and he came out with some excuse, some health reason. He was more into getting money off people for business deals and music ventures. The very first time I met him, I took an instant dislike to him. I didn’t believe a word he was saying.
“He was trying to get people involved in concerts and was always working on the next deal. It’s just a shame he couldn’t have used some of his bullshit to get an actual job and not a fake one. No-one believed a word he said.”
Story via Cavendish Press
Image courtesy of HMRC and Brian Turner with thanks