Lancashire fraudster hit with £150,000 bill

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An ex-Lancashire County Council worker who was jailed for seven and a half years for stealing more than £1 million from his employer, has been ordered to hand over more than £150,000 proceeds from the sale of his house.

Stephen Crewdson, 47, was jailed in 2016 after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) revealed he stole from council funds by creating fake invoices which included bogus VAT charges.

Crewdson was convicted of fraud and money laundering after charging Lancashire County Council for bogus construction work over five years.

He arranged for building suppliers to charge the council for work that never existed. Money paid to the builders was then laundered through various bank accounts back to Crewdson.

Crewsdon has now been ordered to hand over all his assets - £159,450 from the sale of his house on Chapel Close, Old Langho,

Debbie Porter, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “Crewdson’s crimes have put him behind bars and now he has been stripped of everything he had. He thought his crimes could be hidden through a web of fake invoices and multiple bank accounts but he was very wrong.

“HMRC is determined to recover money stolen from UK taxpayers. Public funds are crucially important so if you suspect someone of tax fraud contact report it on 0800 788 887.”

On 30 June 2017, Crewdson was issued with a confiscation order for £159,450.70 which he must pay within 28 days or he will serve an additional 32 months in jail and still must repay the money.

The money will then be repaid to Lancashire County Council.