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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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After taking over a small limited company (business) we discovered

Customer Question

After taking over a small limited company (business) we discovered that the previous owner/director had been making cheques payable to himself but, putting supplier names on the cheque stub. we asked for dozens of "odd amount" copy cheques from his previous bankers all of which confirmed his name on the cheque but supplier names on the stubs. It amounts to thousands of pounds taken from the business concealed as payment to suppliers. There are no invoices to substantiate the payments. were his accountants negligent in not asking for the missing invoices as also VAT will have been claimed on the amounts and is there anything we can do? thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.

Alex Watts : Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
Alex Watts : How much has been lost please?
Customer:

Hi Alex,

Customer:

£6,799

Customer:

in amounts ranging from £80 to £300

Customer:

All cheques were made payable to one of the previous directors with supplier names on the stubbs

Alex Watts : So in short, fraud?
Customer:

so what do we do? obviously the company has lost money. No tax or NI has been paid and we imagine VAT has been claimed back on the amounts by the accountants. Arent the accountants somewhat negligent for not asking for Invoices to collate these payments?

Alex Watts : You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.
Alex Watts : If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk or by completing form N1 http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/courtfinder/forms/n001-eng.pdf and take it to your local County Court.
Alex Watts : The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.
Alex Watts : If the matter is defended it will be set down for a trial. If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim and you will not need representation.
Alex Watts : You could also go to the Police as this could well be fraud.
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
Customer:

can we also contact HMRC and inform them that "skimming" has been going on

Alex Watts : Yes you can do that too,
Customer:

is there any time limit on when discovered and subsequently reported

Alex Watts : No Time limit on fraud.
Customer:

we,ve since found cheques going back to 2006 so goodness knows how much he's had in total

Customer:

its costing us £12 for each cheque we ask for. I assume we can claim that too

Alex Watts : Yes add that to your lossez
Alex Watts : losses
Alex Watts : Can I clarify anything else?
Customer:

thank you Alex. We also discovered he had been paying one of the drivers cash in hand £150 per week for over 3 years. No tax or NI paid by either party. cant wait to see what we discover next

Alex Watts : Indeed.
Alex Watts : If this answers your question could I invite you leave feedback on my service which I hope has been excellent today, if you need more information or help then please click reply.Please remember that I am always happy to help if you have future questions, even if I am in Court I can normally respond within a few hours. For future information, please start them with ‘For Alex W’.Please bookmark my profile if you wish for future help: http://www.justanswer.co.uk/law/expert-alexwatts/
Customer:

Finally is it worth us going to see a solicitor as we could be looking at misrepresentaion over the sale of the business. We would never have taken it on if we would have known what he'd =been doing

Ash and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ash replied 3 years ago.
Yes I would but try the claim first.