An HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) debt collection officer has been jailed after pleading guilty to stealing almost £85,000 from taxpayers.
Geoffrey Eley, 44, who worked collecting overdue payments from taxpayers, has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison at Hereford Crown Court, the Redditch Advertiser reports.
Between 2001 and 2007, Eley visited businesses and individuals door-to-door, taking cash payments from 15 taxpayers which he then pocketed.
He conned taxpayers with photocopies of official HMRC receipts, leading them to believe they had settled their debts with HMRC.
Eley, a serving HMRC officer of almost 27 years, stole a total of £84,950 while individual amounts taken from taxpayers ranged from £1,000 to £28,904.
He attempted to cover his tracks by crediting the duped taxpayers' accounts with cheque payments received from unconnected third party taxpayers.
Joff Parsons, head of HMRC's internal governance criminal investigations, says: "HMRC expects the highest standards of behaviour from its staff.
"Eley abused his position of trust for personal gain.
"We will relentlessly pursue anyone who attempts to steal from public funds and they will face criminal sanctions."
He says HMRC has taken steps to ensure similiar abuses can not take place.
"Corruption amongst our staff is rare and will not be tolerated."
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From 1 March