A fraudster who failed to pay £500,000 in tax over 10 years has been jailed.
Samuel Jones, 53, also pretended to have dementia in an attempt to delay his trial, but he was found guilty of tax evasion after failing to declare income tax, pay national insurance contributions and VAT, a spokesman for HM Revenue and Customs said.
Mr Jones and his wife Lorraine, 47, of Downend Road Bridgwater, denied they were running a tarmac business and claimed their money was from inheritance and gambling. In fact the couple ran successful businesses under the names Diamond Stone Paving, Diamond Driveways, JP Paving, J Pope and J Pope Tarmac Constructors.
They also built a £1.6 million portfolio of 11 properties in the Weston-super-Mare and Bridgwater areas of Somerset and invested £1.4 million cash in various bank accounts.
Shortly before their trial was due to start in March 2011, Mr Jones claimed he was in the early stages of dementia.
Mr Jones was found guilty on May 30 and was yesterday sentenced to four years in jail. His wife submitted a late guilty plea on the first day she was due to stand trial and was jailed for three years and six months.