Two young women agreed to move illegal cash through their bank accounts as part of a complex scam against HMRC.

Rachel May Chapman, 24, of Preston, and Kathryn Stanley, 20, of Nottingham, accepted tax repayments under HMRC’s Construction Industry Scheme for deductions that had never existed.

Prosecutors said between June and September 2017, payments totalling £57,000 passed through Chapman’s accounts and payments of around £42,000 passed through Stanley’s. Claims for further £185,000 were made but never paid.

Their defence lawyers said they were vulnerable, had suffered troubled childhoods and were easily taken advantage of.

Judge Philip Parry imposed a 12 month community order, 100 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation requirement. He stated’ “The sums of money going through your account on this person’s behalf were substantial’.”

“You must have had very high suspicions, if not knowledge, that what was going on here was illegal.”

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