Jury retires in Weybread accountant’s fraud trial

Ipswich Crown Court
Ipswich Crown Court

The jury have today (Wednesday) retired to consider verdicts in the trial of a Weybread accountant accused of defrauding a customer.

Adrian Lummis, 54, of The Street, has pleaded not guilty to three charges of fraud by abuse of position.

Ipswich Crown Court heard allegations this week that £186,000 was obtained illegally from two businessmen brothers who were long standing clients and friends of Lummis.

Prosecutor Hugh Vass told the jury that Lummis had for almost 30 years overseen the personal and business accounts for Douglas and James Edwards.

It is claimed that Lummis persuaded the brothers to sign blank cheques from one of their companies, Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd based at Ardleigh, near Colchester which has a £20 million turnover.

Mr Vass said it was alleged that Lummis used the cheques to pay for his own solicitors bill and then on two occasions to settle his own tax bill.

The frauds were said to have started in December 2011 and continued until July 2012 with the largest of the cheques being for £125,000.

The frauds came to light when auditors examined the acounts of Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd, alleged Mr Vass.

Lummis claimed that the Edwards brothers were lying because of delays he was responsible for in filing tax returns which had cost them tens of thousands of pounds in penalties.

The money he used to pay off his own debts had been a loan from the brothers and which had now been repaid in full, claimed Lummis.

Giving evidence, Douglas Edwards said that Lummis had never asked for a loan but would have been given one if he had asked.

Mr Edwards denied that the allegations against Lummis were because large penalties from the tax authorities had been incurred because of his actions.

The trial continues.