Ex-cop in £300m VAT scam

A FORMER Rotherham police officer has admitted his part in a £300 million VAT fraud– believed to be the biggest of its kind in UK history.

Nigel Cranswick (47), from Kiveton Park, was a director of Ideas 2 Go, which he ran from a small office in a Dinnington business park and claimed to have bought and sold at least £2 billion worth of goods in just eight months.

Cranswick has admitted the firm’s trading—largely in mobile phones and computer software—was fictitious, with the aim of generating paperwork from fake sales to claim back a fortune in VAT.

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Cranswick, of Danby Road, has admitted conspiracy to cheat HM Revenue and Customs.

Darren Smyth (42), of Beech Road, Maltby, and Brian Olive (56), of Buttermere Close, Doncaster, have admitted the same charge.

Cranswick’s 44-year-old sister Clare Reid, of the same address as Smyth, has admitted two counts of false accounting.

They pleaded guilty on the eve of a trial at Newcastle Crown Court and will be sentenced next month, along with two other defendants—Andrew Barrie Marsh (29), of Wales Hall Farm, Church Street, Wales, and Thomas John Murphy (27), of Creswell, Worksop, who are also charged with cheating the public revenue.

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Charges were dropped against Natalie Warrington (44), of Heather Lodge, Limekilns, North Anston.

Paul Rooney, from HMRC, said: “This was a sophisticated fraud designed to steal hundreds of millions of pounds of tax.

“Investigators unravelled a complex web of fake business transactions fabricated to conceal the massive financial fraud.”