Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 5°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.

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.

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

Ipswich train station

The train lines from London to Ipswich have now reopened after a man was hit and killed by a train between Colchester and Manningtree earlier today.

Showers have tested positive for Legionella bacteria at Walton-on-the-Naze lifestyles

Bosses have decided to shut an Essex leisure centre over fears a customer contracted a serious lung infection after using the showers.

Fares on Greater Anglia trains will go up less steeply than the national average.

Rail fares on East Anglia’s lines are set to rise by just under 2% in January.

Mark Savin, 39, from Bury St Edmunds

Tributes have continued to pour in for 39-year-old Bury St Edmunds architect Mark Savin after his sudden death on Sunday.

Kameron May infographic. Pic: Suffolk Constabulary

Parents and victims of a jailed Suffolk paedophile have told of the devastating emotional damage his “abhorrent” crimes inflicted on them.

Frosty Morning at Woodbridge Tide Mill. Photo by Peter Cutts

Through our iwitness24 site, readers are able to share their photos of Suffolk’s top beauty spots, of landmarks and of some of our amazing wildlife in action.

Festive Taste Testing.

Our judging panel put Christmas food from the supermarkets to the test.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24