Channel 4 deletes programme featuring Gravesend's Riva whose owner admitted £57,000 fraud

News Shopper: Channel 4 deleted the episode of Ruth Watson Means Business which featured Anastasia Zinkevich's restaurant Riva. Channel 4 deleted the episode of Ruth Watson Means Business which featured Anastasia Zinkevich's restaurant Riva.

CHANNEL 4 was forced to delete a programme featuring a Gravesend restaurant from its website after News Shopper pointed out the owner had admitted to a £57,000 fraud earlier this year.

Riva Bar and Restaurant at Town Pier, in West Street, was the subject of an entire episode of Ruth Watson Means Business! which aired on December 11 and was also uploaded online.

However, on September 26 owner Anastasia Zinkevich, 35, of Wrotham Road, admitted to defrauding Gravesham Council and pleaded guilty to one count of fraud at Maidstone Crown Court.

She is yet to be sentenced.

Zinkevich used credit cards that did not belong to her and without the authorisation of the owner when settling debts with the council in relation to various charges and services.

The losses, between June 2011 and December last year, left the authority facing a large number of chargebacks by card providers when recalling funds paid fraudulently.

News Shopper:

Channel 4: 'This particular case was not brought to our attention until today'

A spokeswoman for Channel 4 told News Shopper: "Thorough background checks were undertaken on all contributors to the series which was filmed much earlier this year.

"In addition, all contributors were asked to disclose any current or upcoming cases but this particular case was not brought to our attention until today."

Channel 4 promptly removed the programme after News Shopper made contact within hours of the episode airing. 

The show follows the hotelier Ruth Watson as she travels across the county to test restaurants which regularly attract negative reviews online to see if they are bungling or critics are being harsh.

The episode showed Riva bar does a roaring trade, but reviewers regularly complain about the restaurant's poor food, the chilly temperature and the cold reception from the owner.

'Absolute shambles of a restaurant'

Comments featured on the show included "absolute shambles of a restaurant", "not worth the price" and "absolutely freezing inside".

During the episode, Zinkevich told Ms Watson she spent more than £10,000 each year on heating the restaurant.

News Shopper:

Speaking about the poor reviews, manager Anna Clarke, 29, had told News Shopper: "Obviously there were a few things on there that were justified but at some point it felt like we were being ganged up on.

"This has gone back a couple of years. The way I feel is that some people, rather than posting about good experiences they’ve had, would rather have a rant online anonymously.

"We haven’t responded to it because we didn’t know there is a management response tool for businesses to reply and justify things.

"We are currently looking into setting that up but we would have to be careful not to make excuses. "We had a phone call this morning from a gentleman who said that we should chill our wine and champagne in the Thames.

"We probably won’t be looking to do that. I’m a bit dubious about having bottles of champagne and wine dangling from the pier for people to grab."

News Shopper was not able to reach Zinkevich for a comment on the show's removal from the Channel 4 website.

Comments (2)

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4:34pm Fri 13 Dec 13

molsey says...

The NS deletes them HERE, there and everywhere.
The NS deletes them HERE, there and everywhere. molsey

4:59pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Gypo.Joe says...

Next time I'm in the NS office collecting my number of hits bonus I'm going to confiscate all the red pens.
Next time I'm in the NS office collecting my number of hits bonus I'm going to confiscate all the red pens. Gypo.Joe

Comments are closed on this article.

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