Bosses of a Birmingham company which was set up by Midland MP and former Paymaster General Geoffrey Robinson "doctored" files to cover up £11 million of compensation payments, a court heard yesterday.

TransTec chief executive Richard Carr and the company's finance director, Bill Jeffrey, removed documents which revealed their dealings over a massive compensation claim from Ford, Birmingham Crown Court heard.

Carr (53), of Snitterfield Road, Bearley, Warwickshire, faces seven counts of fraud which centre on his failure to declare the compensation settlement to the company board, auditors, shareholders or the Stock Exchange.

Jeffrey has already pleaded guilty to seven similar counts against him, the jury was told.

Mr Robinson, who is Coventry North West MP, left the company two years earlier and is not implicated in the alleged fraud.

Anthony Hacking QC, prosecuting for the Serious Fraud Office, told the court yesterday the deal was kept secret by the pair for more than three years.

He said: "In order to make certain that the claim of compensation was kept secret they doctored the files. That is to say this correspondence was not shown to the auditors. It was not discussed. It was missing."

He told the jury: "We do not mince our words. Mr Carr and Mr Jeffrey doctored the files. We will show documents that are false, to fool the auditors."

TransTec, collapsed in late 1999, shortly after the "balloon went up" over the compensation package for faulty products supplied by the Coleshill-based firm.

The trial continues.