A UFO enthusiast from Great Missenden has been jailed for his part in a false VAT refund scam.
Nicholas Richmond, 43, who lives in the High Street was part of a six-strong gang based in Staffordshire who fraudulently claimed to be trading internationally in scrap metal in order to claim £1.5m in VAT refunds.
He was jailed for three years on Friday, May 4, after being found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the revenue.
The UFO enthusiast regularly posts reports of UFO sightings on Twitter and has over 11,000 followers. On Friday, after being sentenced, he tweeted: "Due to a slight misunderstanding with the courts of England and Wales I may not be posting for 12-18 months...see you all soon!!"
The fraud bank rolled the lifestyle of Michael Bostock, of Stafford, the gang's principal player, who was able to afford a fleet of expensive cars including a Mercedes McLaren, a Ferrari Scaglietti and a Lamborghini Gallardo and a home valued at £1.4m.
Richmond, a director of Cypriot company Shavronda Ltd, created false invoices and paperwork showing the movement of metals between Cyrpus and the UK.
This enabled a claim to be made by IED Ltd, Bostock's firm, to claim that metals traded in the UK were zero-rated for VAT purposes.
Richmond secured a £1m investment from UK residents on the promise of high returns from metal trading, and these sums were used to fund the fraud with few investors ever receiving any returns.
Gary Lampon, assistant director of criminal investigation for H M Revenue and Customs, said: "The gang, led by Bostock, operated a network of companies that supposedly traded internationally in large quantities of scrap metal.
"They created false paperwork and claimed to move consignments of nickel, tin and copper between UK scrap metal yards and later from Austria to the UK, in order to claim back VAT they weren’t entitled to.
"The sophistication of the fraud led to a lengthy and complex investigation but we will not be deterred from pursuing those behind such crimes in order to bring them before the courts."