Dragons’ Den PR Guru Richard Hillgrove made Bankrupt By HMRC

Richard Hillgrove and James Caan CBE

Channel 4 Catching The Tax Dodgers ‘star’ and PR Guru Richard J Hillgrove made Bankrupt after lengthy legal battle with HMRC

After a long battle with HMRC following the late filing of a VAT return resulting in a dawn raid at the Somerset home he shared with his wife in June 2012 the matter finally ended with Hillgrove being made bankrupt at The Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand yesterday.

Hillgrove, whose marriage broke down under the strain of the affair is father to Lola Hillgrove, aged seven, and Richard John David Hillgrove, 14, largely represented himself in the legal action and whilst a hearing in 2013 ended in a mistrial, a second, three and a half week trial at Bristol Crown Court in March 2014 found him guilty of cheating the public revenue.

Hillgrove received a suspended sentence in May 2014 and was ordered to serve 200 community hours, which he completed in 2015.

Two days after Hillgrove appeared in the Channel 4 programme Catching The Tax Dodgers, which aired in August, HMRC filed a bankruptcy petition against him whilst he was conducting a PR job for his client, Joe Corré. Mr Corré was in the High Court challenging Ineos Chemicals’ anti-fracking injunction at the time.

Hillgrove says: “This certainly feels a lot like ‘The End Of The Affair’. I’ve been like a wounded animal chased by huntsmen through the dark forest for more than five years. Bleeding. Exhausted. Vulnerable. I hope the HMRC are happy now they’ve got their kill. A family in tatters. A marriage broken. A life in ruins.”

Hillgrove claims that he has appointed OJN solicitors to represent him in bringing a civil claim against his former Wells, Somerset, accountant for gross negligence.

Commenting about the action brought against him Hillgrove said: “Finally, I intend to see justice done. I’ve been down, but I’m certainly not out. Watch this space.”