Businessman in court on tax fraud charges

Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A BUSINESSMAN accused of failing to pay more than £140,000 in tax has appeared at court.

Chukwudi Daniel Nwodo, of Catisfield Road in Fareham, entered not guilty pleas to 18 counts relating to tax fraud.

Fareham Magistrates’ Court heard that Nwodo, 28, is accused of six counts of creating false VAT returns relating to his company DN Consultant Ltd, totalling £24,362, six counts of fraudulently evading income tax totalling £82,324, and six counts of fraudulently evading national insurance totalling £33,365.

The charges run from April 2006 to May this year.

Nwodo was told that his case could be heard at either the magistrates or crown court.

But after hearing from the Crown Prosecution Service solicitor and a short discussion, the bench decided it was beyond their jurisdiction.

When the defendant was asked if he understood, the clearly-agitated Nwodo said: ‘I fully understand, but it’s a mess-up.’

His defence solicitor advised him to be quiet.

He is due back at the court on December 28 for a committal hearing.

He was released on unconditional bail.