cash and sales records were going missing.
Three brothers who ran Indian restaurants in the Melton area of Leicestershire evaded paying more than £500,000 in tax.
Abul Azad, Abul Ashraf and Abul Khaled were in charge of the Apurba, Bombay Brasserie and Tandoori Knights Indian restaurants.
They were found to have “deliberately or recklessly destroyed or removed sales records in their company accounts in order to avoid paying the full VAT and corporation tax amounts that were due” following an insolvency investigation.
During the investigation into their business dealings, the brothers sought to discredit and place the blame on the company’s accountant.
That is despite the accountant giving written warning in successive years that the company, A&A (Melton Mowbray) Limited, had inadequate record-keeping processes in place and that it was obvious that cash and sales records were going missing.
The investigation found that in some cases, sales identified solely through card payment data was found to be more than their total reported sales.
This also included cash payments.
In total, £566,749 was owed to HMRC when the brothers placed the company into liquidation in August 2018.
The three brothers were banned from acting as company directors.
Azad, aged 57, was banned for seven years.
Ashraf, aged 50, was also banned for seven years.
Khaled, aged 44, was banned for three-and-a-half years.
Cassandra Dowthwaite, deputy head of Insolvent Investigations (North) at the Insolvency Service, said:
“This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to conceal sales and withhold taxes, which are needed to fund vital public services, for their own benefit.
“Companies have limited liability, which is a privilege, not a right, and The Insolvency Service have strong enforcement powers which we will not hesitate to use to remove that privilege from dishonest or reckless directors.”
Azad and Ashraf were the longest-serving directors, having been in post since the company was incorporated on May 6, 2010.
It was reported that Khaled had only been a director of the company for less than two years.
He admitted causing or allowing the company to suppress its sales over a period of at least eight months.
A spokesman for the Insolvency Service said:
“The disqualification from being a company director is a civil offence.
“But it is possible that this case could be referred in future for criminal prosecution.”