Christian businessmen are jailed for tax fraud

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TWO EVANGELICAL Christian businessmen who held regular prayer meetings in their office have been jailed for cheating the Inland Revenue out of pounds 130,000.

Philip Raisey, 39, and Stephen Wright, 40, sang gospel songs in their City of London dealing room at a time when they were carrying out the fraud, an Old Bailey jury was told.

They were respectively chairman and company secretary of securities dealers Fox Milton.

Judge Brian Capstick jailed them for six months, saying that despite their former good characters and religious beliefs they had to face a deterrent sentence.

'This was a fraud on the innocent tax-paying public,' he said. The two men embarked on a 'consistent plan' to cheat the Inland Revenue.

He ordered them to pay pounds 30,000 each towards the costs of the case after hearing that the police investigation and three-month trial cost pounds 645,248.

Raisey, of Chislehurst, Kent, and Wright, of Sevenoaks, Kent, were convicted of conspiring to cheat the Queen and the public revenue.