This is a curious story about a a fellow who used Boeing as a cover to commit a fraud the sale of ficticious Boeing parts.  The judge convicted him of fraud.  -GFS


Barrister jailed over £17.5m Boeing fraud

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Paul Cheston


A barrister was jailed for five years today for attempting to con the taxman out of £17.5 million.

John Wilmot, 36, applied for a VAT refund on a £100million bogus deal for four imaginary Boeing 747 engines, which he claimed to have bought them from a Croydon firm and sold them to an Iraqi dealer he had met at a barrister’s garden party.

When questioned by Revenue and Customs investigators, he claimed to have shipped them out to the Middle East under the address “care of Basra airport”.

The ship he claimed to have carried his make-believe aircraft parts to Iraq was actually a grain carrier delivering beans to Egypt.

At that time, Wilmot was a visiting lecturer in law at the University of Westminster and attending training exercises in the Inner Temple.

He was convicted of fraud by a jury at Southwark Crown Court last month, for cheating the public revenue between October 2006 and March last year. He defended himself during the trial but today refused to appear in court.

Sentencing in his absence, Judge Deborah Taylor said: “This was an audacious attempt to obtain a very large sum of public money.

“The only thing that can be said on your behalf is that it was not complex, you acted alone, it was a single application and you did not succeed. That does not detract from the seriousness of your attempt.”

The court heard that doctors had found that Wilmot was not mentally ill and the judge concluded “you were entirely aware of what you were doing”.

Wilmot insisted throughout the trial that the engines had existed, his Iraqi company was real and the deal genuine.

But investigators found that the Croydon company he claimed to have bought the engines from had never heard of him, nor ever dealt in aircraft parts.

The judge also disqualified Wilmot, who had arrived in Britain from Nigeria in 1985 aged 12, from becoming a company director for eight years and recommended he be deported at the end of his sentence.