Pair guilty of VAT scam

Court heard flat had been turned into a cannabis farm
Court heard flat had been turned into a cannabis farm

A couple have been convicted of dodging more than half a million pounds in VAT payments.

Michael and Donna Howard, of Snead View, Motherwell, were involved with a company which supplied services to security firms.

One of those, Scotshield, was invoiced for more than £2 million and paid its bill in full.

However, Hamilton Sheriff Court heard that over nearly four years the Howards’ company MDH paid just £2412 in VAT and nothing in income tax or national insurance.

Michael Howard (44) and Donna (43) were both found guilty after trial of being involved in the fraudulent evasion of nearly £529,000 in value added tax between February 2010 and December 2013.

She was also convicted of evading payment of £120,000 in income tax and £162,000 in national insurance in respect of employees. Those charges against Michael Howard were found not proven.

Sheriff Vincent Smith called for background reports and deferred sentence on both accused until next month. They had their bail continued.

Both also face a confiscation hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.