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Sentences cut for VAT fraud pair

TWO men involved in one of the biggest ever VAT swindles to hit the construction industry had their four-year jail sentences reduced by a year at the Court of Appeal this week.

Michael Chudley and Robert Haggas were jailed at Southwark Crown Court in March for fraudulently obtaining cash after setting up 58 bogus building firms across the country.

Chudleys partner, Carol Smith, was also jailed for nine months for her part in administrating the fraud.

The appeal judges agreed with the pairs complaint that the sentences were disproportionate to the one imposed on Miss Smith.

Both men initiated the fraud in which 58 fake addresses were set up so VAT funds could be obtained and pumped through 86 building society accounts in false names.

The fraud was discovered when Haggas crashed his Bentley while drunk and police found a number of false driving licences.