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Ipswich: Hotel bosses guilty of five-figure VAT fiddle

PUBLISHED: 16:27 03 December 2012

Guilty of fraud

Guilty of fraud

THE manager and a director of an Ipswich hotel accused of dishonestly trying to claim £14,500 in VAT repayments have been found guilty by a jury.

Colin Frost and Edward Roberts submitted forged invoices for refurbishment work at the former Station Hotel, opposite Ipswich railway station.

Frost, 49, of Burrell Road, Ipswich, and Roberts, 46, of Brickfield Close, Ipswich, had both denied taking steps with a view to the fraudulent evasion of VAT between June 2011 and January 2012.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court found Frost guilty unanimously but found Roberts guilty by an 11-1 majority verdict.

Judge John Devaux adjourned sentence on both men until the middle of December and warned them that all sentencing options would be open.

During the trial the court heard that Frost, who was manager and financial director at hotel in Burrell Road told investigators he had employed a man called Dave Robinson to carry out improvement work at the hotel and had paid invoices for work carried out at the end of each month.

He said he had only realised there was something wrong with the invoices when a VAT officer noticed they didn’t have a VAT number on them.

Frost said Mr Robinson told him he would get the number for him but after that he had been unable to get in touch with him.

When Frost got in touch with the company on the letterhead on the invoices he was told the people who had been doing work at the hotel weren’t anything to do with the company.

Frost said Mr Robinson had brought in an electrical company to help with refurbishment work at the hotel and it was only after he had submitted the electrical company’s invoices to reclaim VAT that he discovered that a VAT number he had been given for the company was for a business in Cornwall which had never done any work in Suffolk.

At the time the defendants were running the Station Hotel which was leased from Punch Taverns by a company of which Roberts was the sole director and shareholder, and Frost had been the manager and financial director of the hotel.

Officers who investigated the VAT claim discovered they had been given fabricated invoices for electrical and refurbishment work carried out at the hotel and didn’t pay out any money to the defendants.

Roberts told investigators he was dyslexic and had left Frost to fill in forms.

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1 comment

  • Looking at the revolting shade of green the place was painted last year, they must have got the paint somewhere cheap too.

    Report this comment

    beerlover

    Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A man in his 30s has been arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving in connection with a crash between two lorries and a car today.

The mother of a 21-year-old killed in a crash at the same spot which claimed the life of a teenage girl this month has called for a lower speed limit on the road.

There is further evidence that drivers in Suffolk are taking more notice of the region’s speed limits after figures showed that the number caught on the A12 has fallen by near two thirds over the last year.

The sacking of Essex’s chief fire officer has been branded unfair and unjust by union leaders.

As Ipswich Town take to the field against Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow afternoon, one diehard Owls fan will be hoping the team he has followed since the 1920s can return to South Yorkshire with an away win.

Concerns that paint factory jobs are at risk at two of Stowmarket’s largest employers have been raised, as one of the businesses looks at buying out the other.

A 52-year-old man from Ipswich has admitted to possessing a knife at Crown Pools last month.

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