31 Dec 2013

"Paraplegic" stayed outside the system for over 10 years

A paraplegic has been jailed after failing to pay almost £75,000 in tax and £18,000 in interest - after he stockpiled more than £310,000 in cash in a bedroom drawer (a reader notes).

Peter Bell, 66, of Dalefields, Delph, admitted the fraudulent evasion of income tax, concealing criminal property and fraud.

A police search in July 2012 found £311,940 hidden in Bell's bedroom. He had worked as a builder from the age of 16 and was regularly paid cash in hand.

In 1999 he declared himself a paraplegic after an accident - but was able to return to work in 2001 and failed to notify the authorities of a change in circumstance.

On his 65th birthday he put himself forward for pension credit and claimed he did not have savings or investments worth more than £10,000.

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) calculated that Bell should have paid £74,184.20 and £18,000 interest in income tax over a ten year period. He was also paid more than £42,000 in benefits.

Bell was sentenced to 15 months in prison at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court.

The police search was back in mid-2012. He has only just been sentenced.

And how does it happen that someone can declare himself paraplegic?

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