A Stowmarket accountancy firm which is being investigated by police over fraud allegations owes £40,000 for not complying with money laundering regulations, it has emerged.

Apostle Accounting, which was based in Marriotts Walk in the town before it was wound up, owes the sum to the Institute of Certified Bookkeepers (ICB).

AccountingWEB first reported news of the money being owed to the ICB.

The trade publication said the "outstanding liabilities is due to a disciplinary" from the professional body.

The sanction is unrelated to the ongoing police investigation into Apostle.

It was revealed that Zoe Goodchild, who founded Apostle back in 2012, has been excluded from the ICB and the licence to operate under the company's name has been revoked.

Mrs Goodchild has been contacted for comment.

Apostle came under scrutiny last spring after a number of its former clients revealed they had been ordered by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to pay back the tax refunds they had claimed through the firm.

East Anglian Daily Times: Apostle was founded by Zoe Goodchild in 2012Apostle was founded by Zoe Goodchild in 2012 (Image: Newsquest)

The accountancy business has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and HMRC said individuals are responsible for their own tax affairs.

Apostle has been under investigation by the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit (ERSOU) since late last year over fraud allegations and this newspaper reported last week how four addresses had been searched as part of the probe.

ERSOU said investigators attended two residential homes and a commercial unit in Stowmarket, as well as an office in Peterborough.

Searches were conducted at all four addresses, with documents and digital devices seized.

No arrests were made and enquiries into the investigation are ongoing.

Al Al-Bassam, from ERSOU’s Regional Organised Crime Unit, said: “These searches form part of our investigation into reports of potential fraud, and we continue to follow several lines of enquiry.

“Our teams are working closely with partner agencies to establish if any offences have been committed, and we would encourage anyone who thinks they may be a victim of fraud to report it.”