Valentina Bufalo, 37, set up her company, The Alternative Number Cruncher Ltd, in April 2013, claiming to provide accountancy services from her home address in Battersea. She submitted fake invoices and banking documents in a bid to reclaim VAT, but was caught out by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) before any money was paid.
Bufalo was arrested on 31 March 2014 by HMRC investigators and pleaded guilty to fraud in October 2015. She also pleaded guilty to 18 theft offences in May 2016 at Southwark Crown Court, linked to an investigation by the Metropolitan Police. She was sentenced for all the offences to four years imprisonment at the same court yesterday (20 June 2016).