Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 15°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

Suffolk County Council's headquarters at Endeavour House in Ipswich.

The number of high earners at Suffolk County Council has risen for the first time in four years, according to new figures.

The scene of the accident on the A133 at Weeley between a push bike and a van.

A woman cyclist is in a life-threatening condition in hospital following a collision with a van on the A133 at Weeley.

Knives handed in during an amnesty at Clacton Police Station

A survey by a weapons awareness charity has found one-quarter of youngsters in Clacton have been threatened with a knife.

The Energy from Waste Site in Great Blakenham.

Nearly a year after it first started to turn Suffolk’s waste into something useful – electricity – the Great Blakenham incinerator is helping to keep rubbish out of the county’s holes in the ground.

Police are investigating after rope was tied across a road

‘Lives are being put at risk’ – that’s the warning from Essex Police after motorists had to manoeuvre around a rope which was tied across a road.

Writer and historian Dr Mark Felton

A historian and author from Colchester whose book has been picked up by Hollywood has released a new thriller based on another daring Second World War mission.

Toby Freeman from Robin Cancer Trust, Ben Payne from Reflective Ice Limited and Angie Diggens from St Helena Hospice are teaming up to have a charity night at the Winter Wonderland and Ice Rink in Colchester Castle Park.

An ice rink planned for central Colchester this winter will be taken over by local charities for a night.

Ladbrokes

Two men stole hundreds of pounds during an armed robbery at a bookmakers in Felixstowe last night.

Maggie Scorer and Oscar in front of Brighton Pier

It has taken close to six months, covering a distance of almost 5,000 miles, but the home stretch is in sight for round-Britain cyclist Maggie Scorer and her travelling companion, Oscar.

Robert Morton

The new chief executive of the East of England Ambulance Service, Robert Morton, has big plans for the future of the trust.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages