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Former Keighley councillor in court on charges of tax fraud
6:44pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A former Keighley councillor has appeared in court on charges of tax fraud and acting as a company director when disqualified.
Robert Payne, 38, made his first appearance before Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday to face six charges.
Payne, who was a councillor in the Keighley West ward, is accused of three offences of cheating the public revenue and three of contravening the Company Director Disqualification Act.
Dressed in blue jeans, brown boots and black leather jacket, bespectacled Payne sat in the witness box for the five-minute hearing.
He confirmed his name and date of birth to the court and gave his address as a flat in Knowle Avenue, Blackpool. The charges were not put to him and he was bailed to next appear at Bradford Crown Court.
Prosecutor Lisa Carlton asked the Bench to send all matters to the crown court. Payne’s solicitor, Sarah Griffin, did not object.
Chairman of the Bench Charles Davis told Payne: “We have a whole list of alleged tax and revenue and company directorship offences, which are together indictable only, so this matter will be sent to the crown court.”
Payne was bailed to the next hearing, at Bradford Crown Court on September 9, on condition he does not contact, directly or indirectly, ten named people.
One charge specifies that Payne failed to disclose income from self-employment and failed to pay income tax and National Insurance, on or between January 1, 2003, and March 12, 2012.
A second charge alleges that on the same dates, he cheated the public revenue of income tax, National Insurance contributions and corporation tax by providing a fraudulent service to companies he acted for in the capacity of an accountant.
The third of cheating the public revenue alleges he submitted, or caused to be submitted, VAT claims containing false details regarding the level of VAT, and producing false invoices.
Payne also faces three charges that, being subject to disqualification under the Company Director Disqualification Act, he acted as a director, directly or indirectly, of Airedale Accounting Group Ltd, Airedale Company Formations Ltd and Airedale Leasing Ltd.
Payne sat as a Conservative councillor in Keighley West, but quit the group in September 2010 and then sat as an independent councillor. He resigned as a councillor in 2011.