Former finance chief fuels flames over TransTec

During the 1980s, TransTec was able to apply for grants to back research and development, which the Department of Trade and Industry would reimburse up to a certain amount each quarter.

Ayriss has claimed that his boss urged him to apply for the maximum amount by reclassifying expenditure to boost the R&D figures.

He maintained in a signed statement to the Sunday Times that the invoices were not forged, but said that ‘we were knowingly deceiving the DTI’.

The news will pose added complications for Big Five firm Arthur Andersen, as the company is already the subject of government-backed independent enquiry, and the new claims will add fuel to speculation about the accounting irregularities that brought the company down in December.

Max Ayriss’ evidence will go forward to the DTI and a spokesman said that it would investigate the claims.

At the same time, Andersens could face its own inquiry by the English ICA into whether it should have accepted the receivership appointment, given its previous corporate finance relationship with the company.

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