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Phillip George Webster from Cherry Burton, Beverley in Hull was convicted after a trial lasting 11 weeks. He was found guilty of conspiracy to cheat the public revenue last December, but three co-defendants in the case were acquitted and a fourth was not pursued. He was also disqualified from being a company director for ten years.
Webster was convicted for trying to cheat the Inland Revenue out of corporation tax due on the sale of Hull night club Rumours in April 1993. The club was owned by Eastgate Developments, a company based in Beverley for whom Webster was acting accountant.
The total loss of tax as a result of the conspiracy was £34m plus accrued interest of £17m.
Webster claimed two companies, Waterloo Tavern and Skippers Tavern were subsidiaries of Eastgate and therefore formed a group. Because of this, he said, the tax due on the disposal of Rumours could be deferred against further acquisitions made by the group.
In passing sentence, Judge Dowse said: ‘… the evidence against you is overwhelming and you have lied time and time again to the Inland Revenue investigators and the jury.’
He added the case was ‘devoid of any mitigation.’
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