Ex-Vikings chief banned as director; Chester City owner faces 11-year bar.Byline: LUKE TRAYNOR
A LIVERPOOL businessman and former chairman of Widnes Vikings Widnes Vikings are a professional rugby league club based in Widnes, Cheshire. They play in the National League One.
Their traditional nickname is 'The Chemics' after the main industry in Widnes. RLFC RLFC Rochester Lead Free Coalition (Rochester, New York) cannot act as a company director for the next 11 years following alleged VAT fraud.
The order was made against Stephen Vaughan Stephen Vaughan (born 22 January 1985 in Liverpool) is an English football Midfielder who is currently a free agent. He most recently played for Boston United.
Vaughan started his career at Liverpool, playing reserve and youth football. as a result of his conduct with the Vikings once the club entered administration in October 2007 with liabilities of over pounds 1.6m.
The ex-chairman signed a disqualification undertaking after an investigation by the Insolvency Service's public interest unit into his behaviour at the club.
It included details of alleged "carousel fraud" carried out by Mr Vaughan, designed to prop up the finances of the rugby league club, which was technically insolvent at the time.
Mr Vaughan arranged for the club to "purchase" three consignments of clothing from a UK company, and on the same day "sold" the clothing to a firm based in Spain for just over pounds 3m.
The transactions appeared to be part of a linked series of purchases between the UK and Europe.
The order states Mr Vaughan then attempted to reclaim VAT for the club, but Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs HMRC was formed by a merger of the Inland Revenue and Her Majesty's Customs and Excise and came into formal existence on 18 April 2005. Departmental responsibilities
The department is responsible for the administration and collection of direct taxes including income tax and refused the repayment.
Payment for the goods was made via the First Curacao International Bank, based in the Netherlands Antilles.
The bank was closed down by authorities when it was discovered it provided banking facilities to a significant number of Chester City owner Stephen Vaughan companies involved in carousel VAT fraud.
Ken Beasley, the official receiver of the service's public interest unit, said: "Carousel VAT fraud is a serious offence which deprives the UK of billions of pounds of tax revenue each year, and we will investigate any director of a company involved in such actions.
Mr Vaughan's disqualification takes effect on November 25.
He will be banned from acting as a company director, or in any way controlling a company, until November 24, 2020.
If he breaches the undertaking, he may be prosecuted.
Mr Vaughan currently owns Chester City FC, which is bottom of the Blue Square Premier League.