A BUSINESSMAN has been put behind bars – despite trying to blame his former accountant over a £56,000 tax dodge.
Self-employed scaffolder Joseph Dellett claimed he got into a financial mess after he was “misled” by his ex-adviser Kishor Doshi.
Doshi was jailed in 2011 after illegally tipping off Sunderland security boss Ernie Bewick that he was under investigation.
A judge at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday said Dellett had used the disgraced accountant’s behaviour as a “smokescreen” for his own crimes and locked him up for nine months.
Dellett, of Cranberry Square, Hylton Castle, pleaded guilty to fraudulently evading £18,191 income tax and £38,151 VAT between January 2008 and June 2011.
Mr Recorder Keith Miller told the 50-year-old: “In your occupation, I am certain you would have been aware of the law and I do consider, to a large extent, Mr Doshi’s criminal behaviour has been used by you as a smokescreen.
“I do not believe you were misled by your accountant to the extent of anything like you have claimed.”
Speaking after today’s sentencing, Mr Doshi, who represented Dellett between 2001 and 2005, said: “I feel betrayed by him. I was the one who reported him to the VAT and Inland Revenue.
“He used me to try and blame someone else for what he did.”
Dellett had ran his scaffolding business for 25 years.
Jamie Adams, defending, said: “He accepts he turned a blind eye to what he should be doing.”
After the case, Jo Tyler, assistant director, Criminal Investigation, HMRC, said: “The vast majority of businesses play by the rules but Dellett chose to evade the taxes he should have been paying.
“People who attempt to run a business, or work in the black economy, should take notice, we can and will track you down.”
Kishor Doshi was initially jailed for 18 months after becoming the first person in the country to be convicted of prejudicing a covert money-laundering inquiry under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The term was cut to one year on appeal.
The accountant was a tax adviser to Mr Bewick, who was investigated by police between December 2007 and the start of 2010.
As part of their investigation they served a “production order” on Mr Doshi in November 2009, which demanded that he give up all of Mr Bewick’s accounts and records.
Despite the order explicitly preventing him from informing Mr Bewick, Doshi rang him the next day, alerting him to the investigation.
Police spotted the 20-minute call on Doshi’s phone records and later arrested him. He admitted having told Mr Bewick, but said he had done so mistakenly because he had not read the order fully.
Bewick, who was jailed in 1999 for manslaughter, provided security services to almost every pub and club in Sunderland, but did not have the correct licence due to his conviction.
He was ordered to pay £550,000 from his security business empire – or face five years in jail.
The 58-year-old had admitted engaging in licensable conduct as a company director otherwise in accordance with a licence.
His conviction meant prosecutors could then pursue him under the Proceeds of Crime Act, which last year resulted in him being ordered by a judge at Newcastle Crown Court to pay back £550,000 of the profits he has made.