Gerald Moane, 49, from Brookeborough, was originally jailed for 16 months after an investigation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). The investigation revealed that he had created false invoices claiming he had bought machinery and completed farming work to fraudulently reclaim VAT.
Moane was given a confiscation order yesterday (Thursday 4 May) for £392,333, which he has three months to pay in full. If he fails to pay he will serve a default prison sentence of three and a half years.
In a first for Northern Ireland, HMRC also applied for a compliance order under the Proceeds of Crime Act. The compliance order gives Moane seven days to outline how he plans to pay back the money and he has to provide the court service with updates every 14 days. Failure to comply with the order can carry a prison sentence of up to two years.
HMRC investigators arranged a restraint of assets while the confiscation proceedings progressed through the courts. Any sale of these assets will now be used to fund the confiscation payment.