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Suffolk-based company director pleads not guilty to 21 fraud charges

The director of a Suffolk building company has pleaded not guilty to 21 fraud charges, relating to contracts worth nearly £1m.

Carl Shrubshall of Beckwill Builders pleaded not guilty at Ipswich Crown Court to the alleged offences, involving five housing contracts worth £900,000.

These include 14 charges of fraud by false representation between April 2010 and November 2012.

One incident allegedly saw Mr Shrubshall falsely claim he had a bigger workforce than he did on a contract worth £369,000.

Mr Shrubshall, of Hollow Lane, Thurston, also faces seven offences of fraud by abuse of position.

The charges come following an investigation by Suffolk County Council’s trading standards office.

The officers alleged that Mr Shrubshall took money from consumers for Local Authority Building Control warranties without providing any paperwork or registering the properties.

The LABC warranty is an insurance to cover the cost of rectifying works or rebuilding of a development that is found to have defects.

It was alleged that Mr Shrubshall may have committed offences relating to taking money for providing utilities services, despite not fulfilling these services.

Officers said he also overinflated the costs of utilities and falsified invoices relating to these costs.

Suffolk County Council cabinet member for communities Sarah Stamp said: “The charges against Mr Shrubshall are numerous and his alleged victims are not limited to Suffolk residents.

“It is our hope to get justice for all those defrauded.”

The trial is expected to last four weeks and will begin in early summer 2016.

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This story was amended on 29 September to correct the name of the defendant, originally identifed as Mark Shrubshall

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