Kenilworth man spent cash on French Riviera home instead of paying tax

A Kenilworth pensioner who spent money on property instead of paying nearly £260,000 to HM Revenue and Customs has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.

John Powell, of Knightlow Close, earned almost £1 million in 20 years’ work as a self-employed consultant quantity surveyor.

But he failed to declare his earnings or to pay any income tax or National Insurance. One of his cash purchases was a property in Antibes on the French Riviera.

Richard Meadows, assistant director of the Criminal Investigation Unit at HMRC, said: “This fraud was all about enhancing Powell’s lifestyle. It is not acceptable to exploit the UK tax system at the expense of others who pay what is due, when it is due.

“We are investing more resources than ever in investigating those involved in this type of criminality.”

Powell, 74, worked as a quantity surveyor in the civil engineering industry, mainly on new building complexes in both the UK and overseas.

He was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today (February 4) after admitting to cheating the public revenue, contrary to common law, at a previous hearing.

Anyone with information about people or businesses involved in tax fraud is urged to call the HMRC’s tax evasion hotline on 0800 788 887.

The Courier and Weekly News intended to publish a picture of Powell but the one supplied to us was too small in size to publish.