October 1st, 2016

Solicitor among four standing trial over ‘tax fraud’

Updated: 4:42 pm, May 07, 2015

A COVENTRY solicitor is among four people who will stand trial over allegations of tax fraud in relation to a city centre bar.

Melonie Smith and Kevin McGranaghan pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of cheating the public revenue between August 2002 and January 2007.

It is alleged they failed to account for payments of income tax on one charge – and National Insurance on the other – in respect of employees of Playwrights Bar and Bistro.

Smith, 42, of Gaydon Road, Long Itchington and McGrannaghan, 54, of Batsford Road, Coundon, also denied two similar charges alleged to have been committed between January 2007 and February 2010.

Andrew Harris, 51, of Hill Road, Keresley End, also pleaded not guilty to those two charges, which again related to tax and national insurance for staff at Playwrights Bar and Bistro in Coventry’s Cathedral Quarter.

He and Playwrights restaurant manager Nicola Foskett, 29, of Bennetts Road North, Corley, pleaded not guilty to two further identical charges relating to a period from February 2010 until December 2012.

In addition Smith, a Coventry-based solicitor, and Harris denied a charge of failing to declare rental income from two properties in Browett Road and Arnold Avenue, Coventry, between June 2007 and September 2012.

Altogether the charges are said to reflect the alleged non-payment of around £75,000 in tax and National Insurance.

Judge Alan Parker adjourned the case for trial, and for a further directions and pre-trial hearing to take place at the end of October, and all four defendants were granted bail.

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