London Fields Brewery yours for £3m after 'fraud' charge
PUBLISHED: 16:38 29 March 2016 | UPDATED: 08:03 30 March 2016
London Fields Brewery has been put on the market for £3million after its owner was charged with a suspected £1m fraud.
Julian De Vere Whiteway-Wilkinson, 43, the owner of the brewery in Warburton Road, faces three counts of cheating the public revenue in respect of VAT, national insurance and student loan contributions, and one count of fraudulently evading income tax.
The charge follows a raid on the brewery in 2014 by HM Revenue and Customs and an ensuing investigation into his business affairs.
Launched by Whiteway-Wilkinson five years ago, and now dubbed “Britain’s most fashionable brewery” having been visited by celebrities like Craig David and Robert Pattinson, London Fields produces home grown craft beers alongside an increasing number of craft products.
Specialist leisure adviser Davis Coffer Lyons, which has been instructed to sell the brewery, has indicated that offers above £3m will be considered for the business, property and brewing equipment.
Paul Tallentyre, from Davis Coffer Lyons, said: “This is a unique opportunity to acquire a major player within the London craft beer scene.
“London Fields Brewery is a popular, expanding brewery located in one of the most culturally vibrant areas of London. The high-profile beer brands and well regarded products made on site have evoked strong customer loyalty.”
Announcing the decision to prosecute, HMRC said Whiteway-Wilkinson had been “charged in connection with a suspected VAT, tax and student loan fraud of more than £1,000,000”.
“He was charged with three counts of cheating the public revenue between December 31, 2011 [and] August 7, 2014 in respect of VAT, PAYE/NIC and student loan contributions, and one further count of being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of income tax”, a statement added.
Whiteway-Wilkinson is expected to appear before Thames magistrates in May.
Neither London Fields Brewery nor Whiteway-Wilkinson have responded to requests for comment.