A Fife woman has admitted dodging tax payments worth £380,000 while she and her husband were in charge of prominent kingdom hotels.
Lesley Dykes, 66, pled guilty at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court to an amended charge which stated she was knowingly concerned in the evasion of £380,000 in Value Added Tax (VAT) during a five-year period from August 2011 to July 2016 at The Crusoe Hotel in Lower Largo, Dunnikier House Hotel in Kirkcaldy and at an address in Mount Frost Place, Markinch.
The admission comes after months of investigations and court hearings surrounding allegations Mrs Dykes and her husband Andrew Dykes contravened the 1994 Value Added Tax Act by submitting returns to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) with false information and failing to submit required VAT returns.
Mrs Dykes pled guilty to an amended charge alleging her involvement in the tax fraud amounted to £380,000, which was accepted by the Crown, although the initial indictment faced by the pair put the figure at £740,156.54.
Mr Dykes continues to maintain his innocence in respect of that indictment, and Sheriff James Williamson agreed to adjourn the case for five weeks for prosecutors to decide whether or not to accept his not guilty plea or proceed to trial.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Sheriff Williamson pressed fiscal Ronnie Hay on why a firm decision on the way forward in relation to Mr Dykes had not been taken, to which Mr Hay replied Mrs Dykes’ guilty plea had potentially changed things.
“There is a new dynamic that’s now in play and the Crown need time to consider that,” he said, noting Mrs Dykes may be called as a witness in any future trial proceedings.
Sheriff Williamson also acknowledged it might be difficult to sentence Mrs Dykes if the prosecution was to proceed to trial, so he agreed to the five-week adjournment so further discussions can take place between the Crown and Mr Dykes’ solicitor David Allan.
The sheriff called for criminal justice social work reports to be prepared in respect of Mrs Dykes and deferred sentence on her until December 22.
Her bail has been continued in the meantime and the case against Mr Dykes will next call on the same date.