AN ACCOUNTANT only has to repay £1 of the more than £300,000 he made through fraud involving North and East Yorkshire small firms and self-employed individuals.

Brian John Ridyard, 64, did the victims’ accounts, including their VAT accounts, York Crown Court heard.

Last year he was jailed for five years after a judge heard how he failed to tell HM Revenue and Customs about the money his customers should pay to the Government – and diverted money into his own accounts.

At an assets confiscation hearing, his defence team and the prosecution agree he had benefited by £313,093 from his crimes.

They also agreed that because he has now been declared bankrupt, he didn’t have any assets that could be seized.

Ridyard did not contest the making of a nominal £1 order under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The order allows the prosecution authorities to apply for the confiscation hearing to be reopened should they discover in the future that he does have assets.

Last year, Ridyard, of Duna Way, Kirkbymoorside, pleaded guilty to 20 charges of failure to disclose financial information to the Government that all accountants are obliged to by law when doing a firm’s or an individual’s accounts.

Each charge related to a different business or individual, including a beauty salon, an electrician, a transport firm, a security firm, a decorating firm and a specialist vehicle maintenance firm.

Most were based in North or East Yorkshire.