Thunderstorms

Thunderstorms

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 18°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

Essex Police are attempting to find the owners of photos on storage cards seized by officers at Stansted Airport.

As part of an investigation into theft at Stansted Airport, Essex Police are attempting to trace the owners of images found on digital storage cards.

Marcus Evans

Brazilian police investigating allegations of Olympic ticket-touting have released emails between a senior Irish official and Ipswich Town Football Club owner Marcus Evans.

Traffic on the A14 is being diverted using the entrance and exit slip roads. Image: Keith Mindham

The A14 at Bury St Edmunds has reopened after a woman who was spotted on the wrong side of the bridge at junction 44 was talked down by officers.

Andrew Bloomfield took this photo of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service fighting the fire in the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford.

A fire at the old Fisons building in Paper Mill Lane, Bramford, has been extinguished.

Tower Ramparts, Ipswich, as staff poured from William Prettys works in the mid 1890s

The site of one of Ipswich’s major employers until the 1980s - Willaim Pretty’s - is now a car park, writes David Kindred.

The RNLI at Aldeburgh investigate an empty boat that turned up on Wednesday 24th August.

A yacht named after a lucky star had the good fortune of being rescued off the Suffolk coast today having drifted unmanned past Britain’s biggest container port.

Abellio Greater Anglia managing director Jamie Burles.

The average speed of trains between London and Ipswich will be cut to just over an hour in three years’ time – but the Ipswich in 60 ambition will depend on Network Rail carrying out improvement work.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

MyDate24 MyPhotos24