Brown & Newirth denies involvement in tax probe

Richard Hughes is the co-founder of co-founder of Zeus Capital, an investment company that bought into Brown and Newirth this year.

B&N investor Richard Hughes faces HMRC investigation of 17 companies.

Brown & Newirth has denied that it is involved in criminal investigations that have been launched into tax schemes sold by its investor Richard Hughes.

According to a report by the Daily Mail, HM Revenue & Customs is investigating 17 companies set up by Hughes, who is the co-founder of Zeus Capital, which earlier this year gave financial backing for a management buy-out of wedding ring wholesale company Brown & Newirth.

The tax evasion investigation is centred on Hughes rather than Zeus Partners, which, although used by Hughes to set up the 17 companies, is not under investigation and has denied any wrongdoing.

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A spokesman for Zeus Partners said: “Zeus Partners provided a number of high-risk investment opportunities backing highly successful entrepreneurs with a proven track record. Individual investors had the option of claiming HMRC statutory relief in the event the investments were unsuccessful. We are aware there is an HMRC investigation into these and other investments under way. Zeus Partners is co-operating fully.”

Brown & Newirth sales director John Ball told Professional Jeweller that any investigations into Hughes will have no impact on the wedding ring business.

Ball said: "We can confirm that Richard Hughes is a shareholder of Brown & Newirth’s holding company and not a director of Brown & Newirth, and that we are only aware of his involvement in this capacity, which has been entirely honourable.

"As far as we are concerned, we are concentrating 100% on running and rejuvenating Brown & Newirth and we are pleased to report that, as a result of the changes we have implemented in 2012, which includes new designs and greater emphasis on customer support, Brown & Newirth has seen a growth of 6% this year."

 

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