Racing VAT fraud arrests
The former owner and founder of Great Leighs Racecouse, John Holmes was one of three people being questioned by HM Revenue and Customs criminal investigators on suspicion of being involved in an estimated £2.4 million racing VAT fraud connected to the industry.
He and his partner Jill Turner were understood to be two of the three people arrested in raids on residential addresses near Braintree in Essex and High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. Two business premises were also searched.
The all-weather course opened in 2008 but last saw action in 2009.
HMRC declined to divulge the names of those arrested but said one man, aged 63, and a 50-year-old woman were arrested at their home near Braintree and a second man, aged 64, was arrested at an address in High Wycombe early yesterday.
A statement from HMRC said they were being questioned in relation to suspected fraud by “false representation, cheating the public revenue and money laundering”.
The BHA said: “We have been informed of the arrests. We understand that none of the individuals involved is a licensed person. This is a matter for HMRC.”