"This was a determined, well planned and long-running fraud"
Indian restaurant owner Nazrul Islam, aged 52, of Birmingham, has been jailed for three years for committing a £480,000 tax fraud.
He was the owner of the popular Jaipur restaurant which is based in Repton, Derbyshire.
The Indian curry house has a four-star rating on TripAdvisor.
Islam hid sales from his restaurant in an attempt to evade nearly £480,000 of tax payments.
The restaurant owner’s fraudulent dealings were found out when HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigators found a hidden sales book that dated back five years.
Islam was arrested in April 2017. His home in Great Barr and his Indian restaurant on High Street were both subsequently searched.
HMRC officers discovered meticulous records of Islam’s daily takings between 2012 and 2017 at his house in a hidden accounting book.
They did not match with the sales he submitted in his VAT returns.
They also discovered that Islam had also registered a different card payment for the restaurant, which was sending payments into a separate account.
The card sales, along with the hidden cash sales, helped him hide up to half of his declared takings.
At his house, HRMC officers found a large sum of cash behind a large marble wardrobe. They seized £22,170 and it has since been forfeited.
Assistant Director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC Richard Paris said:
“This was a determined, well planned and long-running fraud, which even saw Islam buy and use separate card payment machines.
“Tax fraud is not a victimless crime.
“Islam deprived vital UK public services of this money and he gained an unfair advantage over honest competitors who pay the tax they owe.”
“I would urge anybody who knows of anyone committing any type of tax fraud to report them to HMRC online, or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”
At an earlier hearing at Birmingham Crown Court, Nazrul Islam admitted evading VAT payments, Income Tax and National Insurance payments.
On Thursday, May 23, 2019, he was sentenced to three years in prison. He was also disqualified from being a Director of a company for seven years.
HMRC explained that action is currently being taken to recover the stolen money.
In another case, Indian restaurant owner Motin Miah was jailed for two years and eight months after he lied about the takings from his three restaurants in Dorset. He evaded paying over £200,000.
HMRC was suspicious about his activities so they visited one of his restaurants in October 2015 to interview him.
During the interview, Miah said he was not the owner, however, HMRC officers had enough evidence to prove he was the owner and charged him with tax evasion.
He later pleaded guilty to the charges and he was jailed. He was also banned from being a company director for 10 years.