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Garlic importer has jail sentence reduced to two years

A businessman who was found guilty of dodging taxes on more than 1,000 tons of imported Chinese garlic has had his sentence reduced from six to two years.
Feb 15th 2013, 8:43 PM 10,134 99

A BUSINESSMAN WHO was found guilty of dodging taxes on more than 1,000 tons of imported Chinese garlic has had his sentence reduced from six to two years.

Today, a three-judge appeals court said the original sentence handed down to Paul Begley was excessive but noted that the tax-avoidance was significant and the crimes were premeditated, RTE News reports.

Begley, 46, of the Blanchardstown-based Begley Brothers, admitted running a scam from 2003 to 2007 in which he instructed his Chinese suppliers to produce false export invoices labelling garlic as apples.

The import duties on apples are just 9 per cent – but are up 232 per cent on garlic.

The fraud allowed Begley to avoid €1.4 million in tax. He has been trying to repay the sum since Dublin Port customs officers discovered the deception in 2007 but still owes €700,000 .

Read: Man given six-year sentence for garlic tax scam

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Jennifer Wade

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