TWO HM Revenue & Customs employees who worked together on a “sophisticated” tax fiddle have ended up behind bars.

Michael Bourton, 31, of Pandy Road, Croespenmaen, near Crumlin, Caerphilly, and Dominic Anderson, 28, of Gorse Place, Fairwater, Cardiff, were jailed after swindling the state and taxpayer in an elaborate scam.

Bourton was the driving force behind the fraud which saw him submit bogus tax rebates to his mother, father, grandfather and sister who were completely innocent.

His close relatives received unexpected windfalls but were blissfully unaware they had been obtained illegally, prosecutor Tom Roberts said.

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When they found out what he had done it ended up causing a “rift” in the family.

Bourton had asked Anderson to join his scheme and they together made claims for themselves.

They were caught when an internal investigation was launched when their behaviour raised suspicion.

Mr Roberts told Cardiff Crown Court how the con has cost HM Revenue & Customs nearly £13,000.

Bourton benefited directly to the tune of £4,520 while Anderson made just over £900.

The remainder was made up of the amounts that were paid to Bourton’s family.

Both defendants pleaded guilty to fraud.

Neither had any previous convictions.

Ben Waters, representing Bourton, said his client was struggling financially at the time of his offending, between June 2019 and September 2020, to pay off loans.

He added how the defendant had been addicted to cannabis and was “ashamed of his offending”.

Scott Bowen, for Anderson, said his client was a father of four who was the “sole bread winner” for his family.

His barrister added: “The offences speak for themselves.

“It is often said there’s two things you can’t avoid in life and that’s death and the taxman and this is a case in point.”

Judge Daniel Williams told the pair: “You Michael Bourton were an administration officer and you Dominic Anderson were a tax adviser working for the Revenue at the time of these offences.

“I am satisfied that in this case the fraud was in essence your fraud Mr Bourton which you Dominic Anderson joined.

“Between you, you submitted a number of false claims for the repayment of tax which hadn’t been paid in the first place.”

He added: “You did so because you thought you could get away with it.

“This was classically an abuse of a position of trust which each of you occupied.

“It was sophisticated fraud.”

Bourton was jailed for eight months and Anderson sent to prison for six months.

Both defendants are set to face a proceeds of crime hearing at a date to be fixed.

The pair were dismissed from their jobs for gross misconduct in July 2021.

Ben Rollins, assistant director, head of anti-corruption, criminal investigations, fraud investigation service at HMRC, said: “As HMRC employees at the time, Bourton and Anderson’s actions were utterly deplorable.

"They held a position of trust and responsibility, but they stole from taxpayers.

“Fraud is never a victimless crime, and by stealing from taxpayers Bourton and Anderson were also stealing from public services used by us all.

“We encourage anyone with information about tax fraud to report it online or call the Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”