Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Crooked hotel duo sentenced for fraud

16:23 31 December 2012

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

THE manager and a director of an Ipswich hotel who dishonestly tried to claim £14,500 in VAT repayments have been ordered to do unpaid work in the community.

shares

Colin Frost and Edward Roberts submitted forged invoices for refurbishment work at the former Station Hotel, opposite Ipswich railway station, in a bid to claim the repayments but were found out before any money was repaid, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

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.

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

At their sentencing hearing last week, Frost was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.

Roberts was given a 12-month community order and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.

They were each ordered to pay £1,254 costs.

The court heard that Frost, who was manager and financial director at the 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 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.

shares

1 comment

  • Surely they should do unpaid community service to the same value that they attempted to defraud the public purse? This is no better than a slap on the wrist?

    Report this comment

    Erm, Why?

    Monday, December 31, 2012

A double lightining strike has hit and destroyed a house. Darren Hobson surveys the damage. Picture: Stephen Huntley.

A hero father-of-six who led his family to safety following a lightning strike to his home has praised his neighbours’ support.

Stuart Cullen, from the Lowestoft area, who died in the terrorist attack in Tunisia.

The family of a man who died in the Tunisian massacre have paid tribute to their “third musketeer”.

Joy Poppy, aged 82, who died following a collision in Woodbridge on July 1

Mrs Poppy died after a collision in New Street, Woodbridge, on Wednesday.

Libby Brown headteacher at Kyson Primary, Woodbridge.

A board of school governors has launched a fierce attack on Suffolk County Council after their headteacher had to stop work for seven weeks.

BBC Radio Suffolk's Mark Murphy with one of the Scamnesty bids

A Suffolk Trading Standards Scamnesty campaign is using special bins across the county in a bid to snare unscrupulous conmen.

Cedar House, Pytches Road, Melton - set to have ten new homes in its grounds.

Developers who have bought a prime site on the edge of Woodbridge from the district council expect to submit proposals to create new homes next month.

Beach patrol rescue spaniels from Clacton beach.
Owner and her dogs.

A beach patrol team at Clacton swung into action to rescue two dogs yesterday evening.

Police in Ipswich are investigating a number of incidents where eggs were thrown at people and buildings in the town.

Culford Girls under 18 Hockey Team January 1990

Were you a member of the Culford girls under 18 hockey team in January 1990. Were you in the squad photographed here?

Sybil Andrews at work in her studio, circa 1980 - Photo from the book

Suffolk artists are often hidden from history, but a campaigner is hoping to rectify that.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages