Cab driver Stanley Orenstein, 52, and wife, Danielle Orenstein, 49, who managed the business, stole £138,000 in Tax Credits, Income Tax and National Insurance and were ordered to pay back the money within six months at Isleworth Crown Court yesterday (Thursday).
The couple were arrested as part of a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation and officers discovered the couple were selling illicit cigarettes and tobacco from their cab office.
Investigations also revealed that Mr Orenstein hadn’t declared his earnings as a self-employed mini-cab driver and Mrs Orenstein lied about their earnings to get extra Tax Credits.
Their criminal profits were used to part-finance two houses in North London, one which they rented out, and to fund investments and property in Israel.
John Cooper of the HMRC, said: “To the man in the street the Orensteins appeared to be running a legitimate business, but it was really a front for wider criminality.
“HMRC won’t stop in our efforts to track down cheats who rip off honest, law abiding people who pay what is due, when it is due. This money is vital to keep our country running and provide the public services we all need and use.”
Mr Orenstein, pleaded guilty to evading tax on the sale of cigarettes of £14,000 and on his mini-cab earnings of £15,000.
He was given a prison sentence of 16 months in prison, suspended for one year.
He was ordered to repay £54,500 within six months, or go to jail for nine months.
His wife pleaded guilty to evading tax on cigarette sales totalling £10,000 and five counts of Tax Credits fraud totalling £44,000.
She was sentenced to one year in prison, suspended for 12 months for the Tax Credits fraud and nine months in prison, suspended for one year, for the tax evasion offences.
She was ordered to repay £83,500 with six months, or go to jail for one year.