One of Ireland's top food producers has been found guilty of dodging taxes on more than 1,000 tons of imported Chinese garlic and sent to prison.
Paul Begley admitted running a scam from 2003 to 2007 in which he instructed his Chinese suppliers to produce false export invoices labeling garlic as apples. Irish import duties on apples are just 9 percent but on garlic up to 232 percent.
The fraud allowed Begley to avoid euro1.4 million ($1.8 million) in tax. He has been trying to repay the sum since Dublin Port customs officers discovered the deception in 2007 but still owes euro700,000 ($923,000).
A Dublin judge sentenced Begley to six years in prison Friday.
Begley Brothers Ltd. employs 150 people in growing, importing and distributing fruit and vegetables across Ireland.