'˜Shopping channel underwear presenter busted for tax fraud'

A shopping channel presenter cheated the taxpayer out of more than £60,000 in a VAT and income tax fraud, a court heard.

Friday, 10th February 2017, 3:49 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:45 pm
Ribchester man will appear in court in January

Jaynie Renner, 53, carried out the offence while she was making more than £80,000 a year as a QVC shopping channel guest presenter specialising in slimming underwear.

Renner, from Wakefield, also ran her own business selling high end scarves, sarongs and fur hats at craft fairs and shows.

A court heard Renner was arrested on board an aeroplane at Heathrow Airport which was bound for Canada, where she planned to emigrate with her new husband.

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She appeared in the dock at Leeds Crown Court as Sheila Renner today after pleading guilty to five offences of fraudulent evasion of VAT and one of fraudulent evasion of income tax.

Renner was given a suspended prison, having arrived at court carrying a suitcase, fearing a prison sentence.

The court heard she had lost her job with the shopping channel as a result of the convictions.

Howard Shaw, prosecuting, said the offending took place between 2009 and 2015.

The prosecutor said Renner had two sources of income during the period of offending, working as a guest presenter for the QVC channel and operating her own clothing business.

The court heard Renner’s annual turnover for her clothing business exceeded the threshold for VAT registration in 1999.

Mr Shaw said there had been no problems until May 2009 when Renner failed to submit any tax returns to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Renner failed to submit tax returns up until 2015 when the offending came to light. The total amount of unpaid VAT was £49,793.

Further investigations revealed she had also failed to pay income tax. The total loss to the taxpayer was £61,690.

Renner has a previous conviction for false accounting in 1995, for which she served a six month prison sentence.

Mark McKone, mitigating, said the offending took place at a time when Renner was “drowning in debt”.

He said: “She buried her head in the sand and is truly sorry for what she has done.”

Mr McKone said Renner, of Wingate Grove, Sandal, Wakefield, had sold home in order to re-pay the money.

The court heard Renner had married a new partner who is a Canadian national.

She had been heading out to North America to live with him at the time she was arrested.

Mr McKone said Renner planned to move to Canada after completing her sentence and was hoping to get a job working for an animal charity.

Renner was given a 22-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 300 hours unpaid work.

Judge Christopher Batty told her: “You have lost your job, you have lost your business, you don’t have a home. In those exceptional circumstances I am prepared to suspend the sentence.”