An accountant from Weybread has been ordered to pay more than £300,000 to a family by the High Court.
Adrian Lummis, 54, of The Street, acted as an accountant and trusted adviser to the Edwards family for more than 30 years, dealing with their personal tax affairs and those relating to their businesses – Nationwide Metal Recycling Limited, Southquay Enterprises Limited, Roundwood Restorations Limited and D and J Edwards.
But alleged issues with tax and financial affairs of the Edwards and their businesses were discovered by auditors of Nationwide Metal Recycling Ltd, based at Ardleigh, near Colchester.
The review by auditors uncovered three payments totally £186,000 that had been made from Nationwide Metal Recycling’s bank account by Mr Lummis for his own benefit.
Doug and Jimmy Edwards said they were “disappointed” that a long-standing colleague and friend could “abuse their trust”.
Mr Lummis was ordered to pay £304,000 in damages and costs by the High Court.
The High Court action included claims for breaches of professional duties owed by Mr Lummis for fraud for the misappropriation of funds – although these were repaid.
The claims were not defended by Mr Lummis.
Mr Lummis had been cleared of defrauding the Edwards by a jury in a criminal court hearing at Ipswich Crown Court earlier this month.
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