The owner of a Moulton Chapel car wash business, who carried out a scam involving red diesel fuel, has been handed a suspended jail sentence.
Marius Legavicius (34), of Hallgate, Moulton, used cat litter to remove the red dye from diesel fuel which carries a significantly lower level of excise duty.
Here we have somebody who has bought the diesel, bought the equipment and set it up to launder the diesel to evade a liability of duty totalling £3,229Andrew Scott, prosecuting, Lincoln Crown Court
Legavicius was then able to sell on the fuel to customers as ordinary diesel.
Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said Legavicius was arrested after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs officers staged a raid on his premises in September 2016.
The customs officers subsequently called in police after they discovered the “laundering” equipment, which allowed the red dye to be removed by filtering it through cat litter granules which had been ground down.
Mr Scott said that Legavicius used the diesel for his own vehicles, but added: “He also admitted that he sold quantities at 90p a litre to acquaintances.
“Mr Legavicius said that he had sold around 200 litres, but he didn’t know it was illegal to launder red diesel.
“Here we have somebody who has bought the diesel, bought the equipment and set it up to launder the diesel to evade a liability of duty totalling £3,229.”
Red fuel, also known as dyed gas oil or rebated fuel, is sold with a lower level of duty for use only in vehicles used by the agriculture and construction, forestry and fishing industries to help them make a profit.
Legavicius admitted a charge of fraud and was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for a year, with 120 hours of unpaid work after a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court yesterday (Monday).
Edna Leonard, mitigating, argued that her client should not receive an immediate jail sentence, as he works more than 60 hours a week at the car wash.
However, Ms Leonard did confirm that Legavicius was able to carry out the unpaid work order.