A business owner who submitted false invoices and cheques totalling more than £1.3 million to obtain credit was found dead in woodland, a court has heard. 

Adrian Venni, 56, was discovered unresponsive in private woodland off Bath Road in Wereham, near West Dereham, on April 10. Despite the efforts of paramedics, he was pronounced dead at the scene

In 2019, Mr Venni, of Station Road in Watlington, was disqualified from being a company director for nine years.

He had previously been a director of King's Lynn-based Anthill Plant Hire Ltd, but provided false information to a factoring company in 2017 which ended up more than £800,000 out of pocket. 

It lost £845,826 after Anthill went into administration and ceased trading in July 2017, owing creditors more than £1m.

He also sold two excavators that were still on finance for £90,000. 

None of the money was paid to the finance company, which recovered the vehicles and caused the purchaser a loss of at least £108,000.

On receiving a nine-year ban, Mr Venni did not dispute any of the matters of unfitness as set out by the Insolvency Service. 

This week, an inquest into his death was opened at Norfolk Coroner’s Court, based at County Hall in Norwich

It heard that Mr Venni had been born on January 5, 1968, in King’s Lynn. 

The medical cause of death was given as hanging and a full inquest to determine the official cause of death will take place later in the year. 

Donations in his memory are being raised for the mental health charity, Mind.

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