Former Strawbury Duck boss admits VAT offences

The Strawbury Duck in Entwistle

The Strawbury Duck in Entwistle

First published in News
Last updated
The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , crime reporter

THE former manager of a pub and hotel has admitted four counts of trading without having paid VAT securities.

Matthew Chapman, aged 28, pleaded guilty to selling more than £5,000 of goods and services from the Strawbury Duck in Overshores Road, Entwistle, without HMRC authority.

Chapman, of Ox Hey Lane, Lostock, is listed as the director of Bello Bello Ltd, formerly Strawbury Duck Ltd, which went into administration last summer.

He insisted that court compensation orders must be made to the company rather than him personally, as it received the profits from the sales.

Chapman admits authorising more than £5,000 of sales from the pub in December, 2011 and January, 2012, despite knowing that the company had not paid the HMRC securities ahead of VAT payments.

Securities are effectively deposits which either new companies or ones with a history of missing VAT or tax payments are obliged to pay to HMRC before they make VAT payments.

Magistrates told Chapman — who represented himself in court yesterday — that he will not be imprisoned for the offences, but that he will be ordered to pay thousands of pounds in compensation.

They were unable to pass sentence after Chapman entered his guilty pleas, as a list of cases Taken Into Consideration (TICs) — further examples of him continuing to trade while barred from doing so by HMRC — had not been formally approved.

In four separate offences on December 21, 2011 (£544.40), December 30, 2011 (£1,205.45), January 3, 2012 (£1,848 and £1,785.04), Chapman received sales having not paid the VAT security.

In submissions to magistrates he said: “I was thinking that by going to the tribunal I could at least resolve the situation.

“Today is the first time I have seen these cases included as TICs.

“If I could see them and check them with the accounts I would be able to confirm them.

“I accept that I have committed these offences as I authorised the sales to go ahead.

“Being the director makes me compliant but, with regards to compensation, it was Bello Bello who received these sales, not me personally.”

Chapman and his older brother Adam were featured in The Bolton News in 2010 when they acquired the Strawbury Duck.

Then they said that Chapman would be the live-in manager of the pub, with brother Adam, aged 31, the owner.

The current manager of Strawbury Duck is Lauren Mason, aged 23.

Chapman will return to Bolton Magistrates Court on March 4 to be sentenced.

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