Spalding

Spalding fraudster avoids jail after using cat litter to remove red dye from diesel

A man who carried out a scam involving red diesel fuel has been given a suspended jail sentence at Lincoln Crown Court.

Marius Legavicius used cat litter to remove the red dye from the diesel fuel which carries a significantly lower level of excise duty.

Legavicius was then able to sell on the fuel as ordinary diesel fuel.

Andrew Scott, prosecuting, said that Legavicius was arrested after customs officers staged a raid on his premises at Moulton in September 2016.

The officers subsequently called in police when they discovered the “laundering” equipment which allowed the red dye to be removed by filtering it through cat litter granules which had been ground down.

Mr Scott said that Legavicius used the diesel for his own vehicles.

The prosecutor added: “He also admitted he sold quantities at 90p a litre to acquaintances.

“He said he had sold around 200 litres. He said he didn’t know it was illegal to launder red diesel.

“Here we have somebody who has bought the diesel, bought the equipment and set it up to launder the diesel.

“He evaded a liability of duty totalling £3,229.”

Red fuel is sold with a lower level of duty for use only in vehicles in agriculture and the construction industry.

Legavicius, 34, of Hallgate, Moulton, admitted a charge of fraud. He was given a six month jail sentence suspended for a year with 120 hours of unpaid work.

Edna Leonard, in mitigation, urged that her client should not receive an immediate jail sentence.

She said he works more than 60 hours a week at a car wash and was able to carry out an unpaid work order.