Hemel fraudster jailed with his brother and nephew after they pocketed more than Â£45million that should have gone to the taxman
A family of fraudsters pocketed more than Â£45million owed to the taxman and spent it on lavish lifestyles including luxury cars, art and property.
Geoffrey Copp, 55, together with his son Joshua, 24, and brother Andrew, 51, ran Central Payroll Specialists (CPS), later rebranded as Quality Premier Services (QPS).
These were umbrella payroll companies, which were used by recruitment agencies to manage the wages of thousands of temporary workers.
But the Copps did not pass the VAT they received from the recruitment agencies to HM Revenue and Customs a court heard. Instead, they used it to fund their own luxury lifestyles.
Wood Green Crown Court heard that Joshua Copp declared his income as £19,256 for the tax years between 2010 and 2015.
But his bank accounts were credited with £11.9million for the same period.
Police searched his home in May 2015, where they found designer clothing and watches, plus deposit transfers for a Las Vegas casino which showed he had deposited chips and foreign currency worth $1.5million during a recent trip.
Enquiries also revealed Copp was in the process of buying a £4.25million property in Barnet.
And on his mobile phone, officers found a photo of a notepad showing calculations of how the VAT fraud was worked out and then split between him and his father and uncle. The original notebook was later found at his desk at QPS.
All three men were arrested four months later on suspicion of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue and money laundering.
A further search found £55,000 cash hidden in various places at Geoffrey’s home in Stanmore, including inside a Bentley GTC Convertible on the driveway.
And several Rolex watches, works of art, a Lamborghini, Bentley and Range Rover were found at Andrew’s home in Cardy Road, Hemel Hempstead.
Geoffrey Copp, of Holland Close, Stanmore, was jailed for 10-and-a-half years. Joshua Copp, of Galley Lane, Barnet, was jailed for eight years. Andrew Copp, of Cardy Close, Hemel Hempstead, was jailed for nine years.