Construction scam demolished by HMRC in Northern Ireland | Newry News Today

Posted by
Tuesday, September 20th, 2022

A man has been jailed and three others sentenced for trying to steal more than £250,000 in a tax fraud conspiracy.


Construction scam demolished by HMRC in Northern Ireland | Newry News Today - newry court news


The three men and a woman, working in the construction industry in Northern Ireland, were charged after false claims for tax repayments were uncovered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators.

The fraudulent claims, over £260k in total, were submitted to the HMRC Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) between January 2015 and September 2017.

Edward Copeland, aged 51 with an address in Carryduff, was at the centre of the conspiracy and was arrested when HMRC officers searched his home in June 2017.


Ad NT Tender for Growth Programme (400 × 400px)



On the same date, 52-year-old Deborah Ramsey, from Newbuildings, was arrested following a search at her place of work, a building firm in Derry.

Evidence uncovered on mobile phones led HMRC to arrest Mr Copeland and Mrs Ramsey, while further evidence seized during the searches led to Michael Gerard Donaghy, aged 57 and from Claudy, and 34-year-old Belfast man Stephen Matthew Fegan being also charged with fraud.

HMRC found that Mr Copeland was using two businesses to exploit the CIS, which sees contractors deducting tax from payments to subcontractors that should then be passed on to HMRC.

Lucie Irving, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, says, “The majority of individuals and businesses pay the tax that is due – however there remains a determined minority like Mr Copeland who refuse to play by the rules.

“HMRC is on the side of the law-abiding majority.


153799_Buttercrane_Its-Personal_C17_Newry-Times - news in newry - newry newspaper


“By tackling the most serious forms of tax crime we are creating a level playing for businesses and citizens.

“We are determined that they shouldn’t be disadvantaged or impacted by the criminal actions of others.

“We are successful in nine out of ten cases we bring to court and this case is another example of that success.”

The case reached its conclusion on 7 September 2022 when Mr Copeland was jailed for two years for his role in the fraud and ordered to pay a £150,000 confiscation order.

The other defendants were sentenced after pleading guilty at earlier hearings.


Keep up to date with all the latest Newry news, what’s on Newry, and Today’s Newry News Now HERE.


Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed


This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing

Log in