An ex-policeman who went from "rags to riches" in weeks by trying to fleece the taxman in a £300m fraud has been jailed for 10 years.Nigel Cranswick, 47, of Danby Close, Kiveton, Sheffield, set up a fake technology firm to claim back VAT.
It claimed to trade in mobile phones and computer software, and said it had bought and sold at least £2bn worth of goods in just eight months.
With the profit Cranswick had his teeth bleached and rented a Spanish villa.
Cranswick, a former officer with South Yorkshire Police, was jailed in a case at Newcastle Crown Court, alongside Brian Olive, 56, of Buttermere Close, Doncaster; and Darren Smyth, 42, of Beech Road, Maltby; who each received three years for their part in the fraud.
They were charged with conspiracy to cheat the public revenue.
Fake sales Former removal man Thomas John Murphy, of Sycamore Avenue, Creswell, Worksop, was jailed for four years and six months.
Andrew Marsh, a former council housing officer, of Wales Hall Farm, Church Street, Wales, Sheffield, was jailed for two years and eight months.
Cranswick's sister, Clare Reid, 44, of the same address as her brother, was jailed for nine months suspended for 18 months and ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work. She admitted two charges of false accounting.
Cranswick was director of the Sheffield-based Ideas 2 Go which generated paperwork from fake sales to claim back VAT.
'Extravagant purchases' Using details from hijacked or fictitious companies the gang produced thousands of invoices for sales of mobile phones and computer software, producing billions of pounds in fabricated turnover, which generated around £330 million in fraudulent VAT repayments.
Cranswick and his gang invented over 6,000 fake business transactions in an attempt to make the repayments appear legitimate.
HM Revenue and Customs said: "Cranswick was the ringleader who went from 'rags to riches' in a matter of weeks.
"He was heavily in debt and only weeks into his new business venture, he quit his job as a serving policeman and began splashing out on extravagant purchases.
"He made lavish improvements to his home, rented a luxury apartment in the Spanish town of Marbella and paid for private schooling and tennis lessons for his children."
taken from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-15693519