Donna Howard stole £283,713 of Income Tax and National Insurance contributions from the unsuspecting employees of her ex-husband, Michael Howard, the director of Motherwell-based MDH Fire and Security Services Limited.
HMRC investigators discovered PAYE deductions for 29 employees had not been paid and that Donna Howard gave the fraud a veneer of legitimacy by creating false paperwork.
The investigation also revealed the Howards had charged customers more than £530,000 in VAT using fictitious and de-registered VAT numbers, but kept the money.
The fraud was used to fund their lifestyle and before they were caught, the couple shared a £400,000 house in Motherwell and enjoyed luxurious trips abroad.
The Howards have now been ordered to pay two confiscation orders worth a total of £154,900 at Hamilton Sheriff Court.
At a hearing yesterday (Thursday) Donna Howard (44), from Sutherland, who was given 12 months in prison, was ordered to pay £127,000 within six months.
Michael Howard (45), from Motherwell, currently serving a three-year jail term was previously ordered to pay back £27,900 within six months at a hearing last month.
HMRC can apply for further confiscation and pursue the outstanding benefit of the fraud in the future.
HMRC’s Cheryl Burr said: “Even following a conviction our work doesn’t stop. We will always seek to recover the profits criminals made from their crimes, securing these funds for the public purse.”