Fraudster, 54, who stole £3.8m jailed for five years

Conman, 54, who committed a £3.8m VAT fraud before spending a decade on the run using 12 aliases is jailed for five years

  • John Dalton, 54, spent 10 years on the run after a series of tax evasion scams 
  • Born Paul Kemp, Dalton was said to have used 12 aliases in his time on the run
  • He and another man falsely claimed £3.8 million of VAT repayments from HMRC

A prolific fraudster with 12 different identities has been jailed for a £3.8 million VAT scam – after spending a decade on the run.

John Dalton, who committed the multi-million pound fraud using numerous fake identities, skipped bail and fled abroad after his arrest in 2007.

The 54-year-old scam artist, formally from Canterbury, was nabbed again for fraud offences in France but skipped the country before his prison term could start.

He resurfaced in Spain in November 2017 where he was detained by authorities and finally brought back to the UK.

John Dalton, who was born Paul Kemp, was said to have used 12 different aliases to carry out his frauds

Dalton, who was born Paul Kemp, has used at least 12 different names throughout his life.

He was sentenced to five years and four months’ imprisonment at Inner London Crown Court on Wednesday, 21 November, having pleaded guilty to conspiring to cheat the public revenue.

Three other members of his criminal enterprise were jailed for a total of nine years and ten months back in 2010.

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Dalton and another man were the main offenders in the conspiracy, which was mainly focused around falsely claiming £3.8 million worth of VAT repayments from HMRC.

They set up several sham companies using forged documents to show that because their business transactions were carried out overseas, they did not receive VAT payments from their customers.

Police released some of Dalton’s aliases which showed how he changed haircuts and passport photos to avoid detection

But most of the businesses never legitimately traded and the offices where they were supposedly based were rarely occupied and were changed on a regular basis.

Kent Police officers travelled to Madrid on January 10 of this year in order to facilitate his return to the UK.

Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Steve Payne of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘John Dalton is a career criminal who has cheated his way through life by creating numerous false identities and businesses in order to make money that he was not entitled to.

‘I hope this case demonstrates that crime does not pay and that we do not forget about people who try to escape justice, no matter how many years have passed.

‘We will now use legislation under the Proceeds of Crime Act to target Dalton’s assets and ensure he is not allowed to enjoy any further luxuries following his eventual release from prison.’    

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