An accountant from Weybread has today (Thursday) been cleared of defrauding a long-standing customer.
Adrian Lummis, 54, of The Street, had denied three charges of fraud by abuse of position and was found not guilty by a jury following a trial at Ipswich Crown Court.
It had been claimed by the prosecution that Lummis obtained £186,000 by using blank cheques signed by two businessman brothers who had been his clients for almost 30 years.
The jury heard allegations that Lummis used the money belonging to Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd, based at Ardleigh, near Colchester, to pay his own solicitor’s and tax bills.
The fraud charges were said to span the period between December 2011 and July 2012.
Lummis said that the money had been a loan authorised by brothers Douglas and James Edwards who own the business and the money was subsequently repaid in full after receiving an inheritance following the death of his estranged wife.
The case had been brought because the brothers were upset about having to pay tens of thousands of pounds in penalties to HM Revenue and Customs arising from his late filing of tax returns, said Lummis.
Giving evidence, Douglas Edwards denied the claims and said that if Lummis had asked for a loan he would have been given one.