Former PDC professional Steve Maish has been jailed for two years for his part in a £2.4m VAT fraud.
Maish, who competed in seven World Championships between 2004 and 2011, was among a gang of six who conspired to cheat the public revenue.
The gang were sentenced to a combined total of 24 years after a three-year investigation had found they had used insider knowledge provided by a former tax office worker to fraudulently claim millions in VAT repayments.
Maish, 54, was an integral part of the fraud and allowed his identity and company to be used in order to reclaim cash.
He pleaded ‘not guilty’ to the charge of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue but was sentenced alongside his accomplices at Southwark Crown Court on December 5.
Born in Southend, Essex, Maish had moved to Wigan and had been regularly competing on the Challenge Tour since 2014.
Nicknamed ‘Mr Magic’, Maish secured a place in March’s UK Open as a Rileys qualifier before losing out to Neil Smith in the opening round in Minehead.
He notably dethroned defending champion Colin Lloyd in the 2006 World Matchplay and reached the Second Round of the World Championship in 2004 and 2008.
Maish has been disqualified from being a company director for three years and confiscation proceedings to recover the gang’s criminal profits are ongoing.