Haverhill businessman escapes jail term

A LITTLE Wratting man, who is a prominent Haverhill businessman has been given a suspended sentence after being involved in money laundering around one of the biggest frauds in history.

Steven Oakley, 56, of The Oaks, Haverhill Road, Little Wratting, admitted a charge of conspiracy to cheat Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and was given a suspended sentence.

The sentence was revealed when reporting restrictions were lifted in Birmingham Crown Court, after a Solihull man was handed the longest prison term in history for fraud - 17 years - for conning UK tax officials out of £34 million.

Thomas Scragg of Hoxley Heath stole millions of pounds of employee PAYE tax.

The extent of the racket remained secret until now as cases against his two henchmen - Carl and Anthony Johnson of Wolverhampton - progressed through court.

The Johnson brothers and Scragg lived luxury lifestyles, spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on luxury hotels and drove around in expensive cars, including a Lamborghini, Bentley Continental, a Porsche Cayenne and a Ferrari Spider. Some cars were supplied by Oakley, company director of Vulcan Service and Supply Centre.

The invesigations into Scragg’s empire also led to the conviction of co-conspirators, including Oakley, who helped him carry out the fraud.

They helped Scragg execute the scam and launder his cash in such a way as to not raise the suspicion of the authorities.

Oakley put £1.2million through his business.