Meath director gets suspended sentence for false VAT return

Revenue audit discovered underpayment of €60,000 dating from height of recession

Mr Vero has since paid the €60,000 due, plus €60,000 in interest and penalties

Mr Vero has since paid the €60,000 due, plus €60,000 in interest and penalties

 

The owner of a Co Meath company who instructed his then accountant to falsify sales figures in order to underpay VAT, as the firm was going through cashflow problems at the height of the recession, was given a suspended sentence at Trim Circuit Court on Thursday.

John Vero, the 57-year-old managing director of Access Plastics Ltd Ashbourne pleaded guilty to making an incorrect VAT return and underpaying VAT for September and October 2009.

The court heard the underpayment of €60,000 which came to light during a Revenue audit had since been paid in addition to penalties and interest of €60,000 and the offence had been a once-off.

Cashflow problems

A defence barrister said his client had set up the company in 1994 with a workforce of three which had now grown to 40 and Mr Vero had been concerned about having to let people go because of the cashflow problems in 2009.

The court heard the defendant was now disqualified from acting as a director because of his guilty plea and had put the business up for sale. His health had also suffered because of the stress of the case.

Judge Michael O’Shea imposed a two-year suspended sentence.