A once-respected businessman has been locked up after taking more than £30,000 from his customers.
Anthony Elliott, of St John’s Estate ,in South Broomhill, was a taxation advisor for more than 15 years and he would help local businesses with their tax return.
But when he came into financial difficulty, he didn’t give 17 of his customers the money they were owed.
In a 16-month period he kept £31,863.71 to himself.
The 55-year-old was previously a man of good character.
But prosecuting the case at Newcastle Crown Court last Friday, John Brennan told how one businessman took his family on holiday, expecting to pay for it from the tax rebate but never received it.
The offences happened between April 1, 2010, and March 10, 2012
Defending Elliott, Chris Mitford said his client carried out the offences in a very difficult time in his life, when he had taken on ownership of a public house with his wife.
He said: “He was suffering from stress.
“He found it difficult to cope and he committed these offences when it was apparent to him that the public house was failing.”
Mr Mitford added: “He is thoroughly ashamed of his conduct.
“He regrets bitterly that people have suffered as a result of his conduct.
“It was his intention to repay,and that stands to this day.”
The Recorder of Newcastle Upon Tyne James Goss said: “The victim personal statement shows some of them suffered stress and it had a negative impact on their lives and their business.
“It’s clear that the great majority of your victims are not going to get any money or recompense.”
Elliot was sentenced to eight months in prison.