22 Sep 2016

Light sentences for tax and benefit frauds

The self-styled 'king of male strip tease shows', Barry Solomons, has been jailed for 28 months for tax evasion and benefit fraud.

The 71-year-old from Bristol is the founder of male stripper troupes 'Dreamboys' and 'Dream Idols', and also wrote The power behind the Pouch.

Solomons, also known as Barri Bacco, claimed £175,390.01 in fraudulent benefits while not declaring an income of more than £219,000. He also evaded £38,731.47 in income tax between 2005 and 2013, Blackfriars Crown Court heard.

His former business partner Laurel Goodman, 55, fraudulently claimed £122,716.82 in benefits, did not declare an income of more than £402,000 and evaded £30,434.18 of income tax between 2007 and 2013.

Solomons also claimed housing benefits for two separate properties from Islington Borough Council and Goodwin claimed for a house from Barnet Borough Council.

Prosecutor Andrew Evans said the pair were investigated by the DWP for fraud and tax evasion totalling £404,661.70. "They failed to show the man everything, in fact they did not show him anything. It was the bare faced cheek of projecting themselves as established members of the industry while taking money from the public purse."

Mr Evans said Solomons described himself as the 'self styled king of male strip tease shows' in his autobiography The Power Behind the Pouch. In the book he claims to have provided 'women of all ages eye candy' while 'unleashing handsome hunks with hard muscular torsos' that make 'thousands of woman drool' with their 'sexy glamour.'

The Dreamboys made regular guest appearances on British TV and toured the world including across Europe and Dubai, the court was told. Solomons and Goodman also arranged regular nights at celebrity haunts in London including Pacha, making thousands of pounds in profits.

Solomons lost the rights to use the name 'Dreamboys' after failing to ever register the name as a trademark. A former dancer with the troupe realised this and registered it himself and then employed Solomons to help run the troupe, the court heard.

Both Solomons and Goodman are no longer associated with Dreamboys, which is now under new ownership.

In his autobiography Solomons said about Goodman: 'She tried to double deal me over our business relationship.' Solomons first met her when she turned up at his office with her boyfriend Lorenzo Amoruso and told him she had a new Dreamboy for him.

After this meeting they forged a business relationship and she became a key player in the organisation and money handling for the Dreamboys, said Mr Evans.

Goodman had been claiming since 1995 that she was unable to work due to claustrophobia and agoraphobia when really she was involved with the running of the 'Dream Boys'. She also ran Destiny Rising, a company offering psychic readings earning £18,500, said Mr Evans.

After she split from Solomons she started a rival troupe 'Here Come the Boys' a UK tour promoted as a reunion tour of the original Chippendales.

She unsuccessfully tried to launch Amoruso's pop career through a new company Superstar Entertainment and received £76,000 from a company called US Nutrition for using him in an advertising campaign for a new drink, said Mr Evans.

Goodman also worked 'self-employed' on a phone sex-line and organised 'exclusive ladies events' but didn't declare any of this income to the HRMC.

Both Solomans and Goodman were arrested during searches of their homes in July 2013. Solomons, who had a heart attack in 2011, was sent to prison for 28 months.

Goodman failed to turn up at Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday and she remains on the run after a warrant was issued for her arrest on September 7. She was also sentenced to 28 months in her absence to 28 months and will be later further sentenced for being absent from court.

Solomons, wearing a smart blue pinstripe suit, rocked forward and held his head in his hands as Judge Jane Sullivan jailed him for 28 months.

Solomans, of Sussex Place, Bristol, admitted one count of evasion of income tax, two counts of making a false statement on a DWP form, one count of fraudulently obtaining pension credits, one count of making a false statement to Islington Council on a housing benefit form, one count of claiming housing benefits by deception and one count of claiming an exemption from tax.

Goodman, from Golders Green, admitted one count of evading income tax, two counts of failing to notify the DWP of a change of circumstances and two counts of failing to inform Barnet Council of a change of circumstances resulting in false claiming of housing benefits.

Source with pictures

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