A BUSINESS owner who set up a 'nuclear waste disposal company' to scam HM Revenue and Customs out of more than £4m has been convicted.

Darryl Lee, of Fawkner Way, Stanford in the Vale, near Faringdon, had denied the single count of attempting to cheat HMRC by fraudulently claiming a VAT refund totalling £4,166,674.

The 44-year old, Oxford Crown Court heard at the beginning of his short trial last week, had set up a business called Subterranean World Solutions whose goal was to find suitable sites for dumping nuclear waste.

Prosecutor David Bright told the jury of five women and seven men that after registering the company as VAT regulated he drew up a number of correspondences from the company to himself, demanding immediate payment totalling about £25million.

He then in turn drafted promissory notes agreeing to pay the money back to the company he had created.

Lee contacted HMRC to ask for a refund on his VAT in light of the expected payments.

Mr Bright told jurors: “It was a sham. The whole thing was a sham.

“This is absolute nonsense and thoroughly dishonest. It would take about 30 seconds to work out there is no money behind these [notes] and it’s not worth the paper it is printed on.”

The court also heard during the trial that Lee had faked meetings supposedly held at Covent Gardens, London, with a ‘board of directors’ as well as listing his neighbour as a company director, unbeknown to her.

Taking just one hour and 27 minutes, jurors unanimously convicted him of the single count as his trial came to an end on Friday.

Judge Nigel Daly, who presided over the case, ordered that his sentencing be adjourned and Lee will be sentenced at the same court on July 2.