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Ipswich: Men accused of forging invoices for refurbishment work at Station Hotel, court hears

19:11 26 November 2012

The Riverside Hotel, formerly the Station Hotel, in Ipswich

The Riverside Hotel, formerly the Station Hotel, in Ipswich

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THE MANAGER and a director of a hotel dishonestly tried to claim more than £14,000 in VAT repayments by submitting forged invoices for refurbishment work at the premises, it has been alleged.

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During an investigation into the alleged fraud it was discovered that one of the companies named on the invoices had not done any work at the Station Hotel in Burrell Road, Ipswich, it was claimed.

Ipswich Crown Court also heard the VAT number on other invoices belonged to an electrical business in Cornwall which also had not done any work at the hotel.

Colin Frost, 49, of Burrell Road, and Edward Roberts, 46, of Brickfield close, Ipswich, who have denied taking steps with a view to the fraudulent evasion of VAT between June 2011 and January 2012.

Robert Dalling, prosecuting, told the court at the time of the alleged offence the defendants had run the Station Hotel. The premises were 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.

Mr Dalling alleged that in a VAT return submitted in September 2011 to Revenue and Customs the defendants dishonestly claimed a VAT repayment of £14,500 which they were not entitled to.

Officers who investigated the claim were allegedly given fabricated invoices for electrical and refurbishment work carried out at the hotel and didn’t pay out any money to the defendants, said Mr Dalling.

He claimed that invoices which purported to come from an electrical company in Colchester had an invalid VAT number on them and when this was queried investigating officers were given a VAT number which turned out to belong to a business in Cornwall which hadn’t done any work at the hotel and had never operated from Colchester.

Another company which appeared to have submitted invoices for work done at the hotel denied doing work at the premises or generating any invoices.

After their arrest Roberts and Frost denied trying to claim money to which they weren’t entitled.

The trial continues.

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