After 14 days of deliberations in the case of The Queen v Doris & Michael Stainer (pictured below), the jury have retired to consider the evidence. In all seven witnesses have been called to give evidence.
During the course of the Trial, Michael Stainer 75 gave evidence that his company did not have any employees, the court heard. HMRC officer Stuart Small said Michael Stainer, 75, informed him there was no point in him inspecting The Grand hotel in Folkestone, Kent, because no-one worked there. Stainer and his wife, Doris Stainer, 65, deny cheating the public revenue and defrauding their employees out of £473,097.07.
As reported previously, the indictments relate to three cases of defrauding the public purse and misrepresentation. The alleged offences relate to the deduction of Pay As You Earn (PAYE) and National Insurance (NIC) from the employees of Kentish Estates Ltd and the Grand Folkestone Ltd between 2011 and 2015. These were the two companies trading at the Grand at that time and the Stainers were officers of those companies throughout that period. These also were the employers of up to sixty staff. These payroll deductions were not reported to HMRC as required, and were not paid over to HMRC. Witnesses testified that employees were assured that these payments had been, or would be made. This forms the heart of the misrepresentation indictment.
Evidence derived from the company bank statements in the UK, showed that some £250,000 was transferred to Mrs Stainer’s (65) bank account in Germany in this same period. He added that the Stainers also derived substantial income from their seventeen holiday flats, whose combined value was over £4.5 million.
Notwithstanding this, Mr Stainer when interviewed in 2015 and in correspondence, claimed that the companies could not afford to make any payments as business was bad, and that it was better to withhold these payments and keep his employees in work, rather than see them as a charge on the public purse in a town with high unemployment.
The amounts in question across the three years and both companies totalled £473,097.07. These were calculated by HMRC using records confiscated from the Grand on July 23rd 2015, during an unannounced raid, which Mr Stainer described as a “fishing expedition“. These amounts were not disputed by Counsel for Mr Stainer.
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