‘Rogue landlords’ fails to do justice to range of offences committed by Kent man Stratos Efstratiou, who is to spend up to two years behind bars.

A rogue landlord who pocketed more than £58,000 in unpaid tax on 26 rental properties has been jailed for two years.

Stratos Efstratiou, 53, of Folkestone Road, Dover, was handed the sentence after admitting four counts of fraud at Canterbury Crown Court.

It heard how HMRC investigators had discovered fake invoices for non-existent repairs and maintenance work on the rental properties at his home.

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The investigation tracked Efstratiou’s business dealings back to 2008 when he bought a derelict pub – The Three Gardeners in Strood, Rochester. He went on to sell the property in 2012 for £300,000 but kept the £50,000 VAT due on the sale.

He also lied about rental income from his 26 properties to evade paying £58,929 in tax between 2010 and 2015, and fraudulently claimed more than £30,000 in Tax Credits over the same period.

Overcrowding

His sentencing follows a court appearance in 2014 when Efstratiou was fined £4,000 for persistently allowing overcrowding in a flat and for failing to repair a tenant’s gas boiler.

Richard Mayer, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, says: “Efstratiou has shown a complete disregard for the law, stealing a huge amount of money while raking in profits from his properties.

“Tax fraud takes money away from vital public services. The money here is equivalent to the wages of six trainee firefighters for a year.” HMRC aims to recover the stolen cash through confiscation proceedings.

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