A man accused of being part of a VAT scam is negotiating his surrender to the UK authorities, Swindon Crown Court heard.

A warrant was issued for Robert Kemp’s arrest by the magistrates in March when the 51-year-old did not attend court to answer charges of filing false tax returns, fraud by false representation and two money laundering allegations.

Two co-defendants, Marcus Kemp, 30, and Charlotte Playforth, 28, both of Rothwell, Leeds, yesterday entered pleas of not guilty to two money laundering counts through their barrister Catherine Walker. Marcus Kemp is also charged with fraud and filing false VAT returns. The fraud was allegedly committed in 2015.

Prosecutor David Maunder said Robert Kemp, whose address was given at the magistrates’ court as Queensland, Australia, had been in contact with the authorities about returning to the UK to answer the warrant – negating a costly extradition process.

Judge Peter Crabtree bailed Kemp and Playforth to appear before Swindon Crown Court for a case management hearing on June 30. Neither of the two defendants who have entered their pleas were present at Tuesday’s hearing, which was conducted over Skype.