A jailed airport parking boss who swindled almost half a million pounds from the tax man must repay almost £300,000 or face another three years behind bars.
Brian Pearson, 59, of Wilmslow, was jailed for three years and two months in October 2017 after it was revealed the parking boss pocketed more than £466,000 in income tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) for up to 60 of his employees.
Pearson was ordered to repay £297,993 within three months, or spend another three years in prison and he still owed the money at a confiscation hearing at Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court last Friday (September 13).
He now faces losing assets including a villa in Portugal, a personal pension and ISA savings.
Pearson ran MIA Secure Parking Ltd, a parking service based in Sharston, Wythenshawe, later renamed UK Premier Parking Ltd, which mainly looked after cars for passengers flying from Manchester Airport.
It is not affiliated in any way to Manchester Airport.
Investigators from Revenue and Customs (HMRC) raided Pearson’s Wilmslow home and business addresses on Harling Road on the Sharston Industrial Estate in March 2015 seizing his business records, computers, payroll books, employee and financial documentation.
Pearson was responsible for Income Tax and NIC deductions for employees through the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) system.
The payroll books were blank, but employee and other salary records showed that Pearson had been taking the tax and NIC from his employee’s pay.
No PAYE deductions - £258,909 of income tax and £207,120.77 national insurance - had ever been paid to HMRC. Pearson was subsequently charged with tax evasion.
Diccon Wood, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
Pearson narrowly evaded jail in 2011 when he was prosecuted for charging premium rates to keep cars in a high-security compound and later illegally storing them at an airport short stay for practically nothing.
He used a technique called "shuffling" which involved a driver illegally obtaining an extra ticket when they entered an Airport car park and using it to remove a second vehicle, in this case, the holidaymakers’ car that should have been in a secure compound.
In total he was found to have conned more than £900 from customers and fleeced the airport of a total of £6,267 in unpaid car park fees. He was sentenced to 250 hours unpaid work for fraud, and obtaining services dishonestly, at Minshull Street Crown Court.
Anyone who thinks they know someone who is committing tax fraud can report them by calling the HMRC Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.