Businessman faces fraud charge

THE trial of a prominent Ipswich businessman charged with fraudulent trading was due to begin today.Claus Wedel, 60, of Main Road, Kesgrave, denies the charge which relates to time between March and October of 1998.

THE trial of a prominent Ipswich businessman charged with fraudulent trading was due to begin today.

Claus Wedel, 60, of Main Road, Kesgrave, denies the charge which relates to time between March and October of 1998.

It is alleged that he contravened section 458 of the Companies Act 1985.

Wedel runs Anglo Norden Timber Importers at Ipswich Docks which employs around 100 people.

The trial, at Bury St Edmunds Crown Court, will evolve around whether Wedel intentionally carried on the business of a company called AB Handling Limited with intent to defraud creditors of the company.

It is unclear whether charges relating to theft that also stand on the charge sheet will be heard and whether he will be tried for them or not.

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Today the jury was sworn in. The original 15 men and women that were originally called into the courtroom then faced questions from Judge Nicholas Beddard in relation to the case.

They were asked whether either themselves or close relatives had any links to Ipswich Port, Wedel's company or other certain businesses connected with the case.

One male juror and a female juror admitted knowledge of two separate businesses and were not asked to carry out their jury service.

Five members of Mr Wedel's family were in the public gallery.

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