Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Farmer who committed £650,000 tax fraud has yet to pay back any of the illicit funds

Ella Thom
Ella Thom

An administrator has been ordered to look into the assets of a north-east farmer who committed a £650,000 tax fraud to try and find the funds still due to the Crown.

Ella Thom, of Torphins, was ordered to pay back £20,000 after she defrauded HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) by fiddling her VAT returns.

However, more than two years later the Crown Office has yet to receive any of the illicit funds.

Yesterday the adjourned confiscation hearing called at Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

Thom’s solicitor, John McLeod, said motions were now in place to try to identify what, of any worth, could be freed up in order to repay the cash.

After Thom was sentenced to 27 months in prison, the Crown Office initially tried to claw back £150,000 from the 50-year-old, only to be told she had few assets left of any value.

After several hearings, prosecutors accepted that £20,000 was all that could be recovered.

Yesterday Mr McLeod said Bill Cleghorn, from Aver Chartered Accountants, had now been tasked with finding the funds.

Sheriff Graham Buchanan said: “So he is going to identify the assets capable for meeting the payment of £20,000? If he doesn’t then other options will have to come into consideration.”

Aberdeen Sheriff Court previously heard Thom carried out the theft by “declaring that the input tax she paid was greater than the output tax”.

She attempted to justify the VAT repayments she claimed by inflating the cost of machinery, fertilisers and business charges.

At the time of sentence her solicitor urged the sheriff to allow her to keep her liberty, as she said a man had “pressurised” her client into committing the crimes.

Solicitor Lynn Bentley said Thom had been asked repeatedly to make the excessive claims and hand the money over to the man, who was not named in court.

Ms Bentley said that when the Crown and HMRC were investigating the fraud, they found a number of Thom’s cheques for “large sums of money” had been made out to the individual.

The case will call again in April to determine whether funds have been found to repay the Crown.

Already a subscriber? Sign in