Essex showbiz accountant in court in Ipswich charged with defrauding clients

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court - Credit: Archant

An accountant has appeared in court charged with fraud by abuse of position against clients from the world of showbusiness.

Edward Lewis, of Frinton Road, Holland-on-Sea, near Clacton, faces nine charges relating to him being the sole partner of a chartered accountant’s near Hadleigh in Suffolk.

Among those the 57-year-old is alleged to have defrauded are actress Jodie Contreras, actor Christopher Marshall, disc jockey Geoff Lloyd, and Stuart Andrews, who works as a programmer in musical theatre.

Another alleged victim is Peter Richardson and The Comic Strip Ltd.

Mr Richardson is an English director, screenwriter, actor, and comedian.

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He is best known for founding the Comic Strip troupe of performers, which showcased his double act with Nigel Planer.

It is also credited with launching the careers of French and Saunders, Rik Mayall and Adrian Edmondson, and Alexei Sayle.

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The Comic Strip Presents was one of the focal points of Channel 4’s programming in the 1980s.

Lewis is accused of eight counts of fraud by abuse of position relating to seven clients.

He is also charged with false accounting in relation to one of those clients.

The allegations span a three-and-a half-year period between January 2010 and July 2013.

At the time Lewis was the sole partner of Spiro Bentley LLP.

The accountancy was based at Lower Layham.

Lewis made his first appearance on the charges during a short hearing at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

A not guilty indication was given to the accusations.

The amount of money involved was not revealed in the particulars of the charges or in court.

The matter was sent to Ipswich Crown Court for trial.

Lewis’ next appearance is scheduled to be at the crown court on April 12.

He was released on unconditional bail at the end of the hearing.

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