A couple from Sunderland who earned over a quarter of a million pounds at car boot sales have been given a jail sentence. Ronald Donkin and Gail Fox sold goods on the Internet, at fetes and fairs to make over £250,000. Gail Fox also sold property on eBay, making £90,000. The couple didn’t pay any tax when they made the money between 2003 and 2010, which has resulted in Fox being jailed for 12 months and Donkin receiving a nine month jail sentence.
The pair admitted to charges of money laundering, which had cheated HM Revenue & Customs out of £85,000. Fox evaded tax of around £50,000 and Donkin cheated HMRC out of about £35,000. Fox admitted to further charges concerning the securing of a loan to purchase a council property, as she provided information which was false. At the time of their arrest, Donkin had savings of £180,000 while Fox had bank accounts containing £90,000. Prosecutors are investigating the pair under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The couple’s assets have been frozen while the investigation is carried out, with the intentions of seizing property and cash of the couple.
Earlier in the year, eBay and other traders were given the opportunity to come forward and present details of undeclared earnings. The campaign launched by HMRC offered penalties of between 10 and 20 per cent of the tax due, as opposed to between 40 and 100 per cent. Other traders who are concerned about tax they owe are advised to consult low cost accountants, who will have details of the latest campaigns.