Restaurant boss jailed after £90k fraud
A curry house boss defrauded the tax man to the tune of £90,000 by failing to declare how much his restaurant was raking in over five years.
Monir Miah has been jailed for two years after an investigation into The Crown of India, on High Street, Stone, by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).
Concerns were raised on the back of routine tax checks and last year the 58-year-old of Tilling Drive, Stone, was given an opportunity to put his tax affairs in order, declare any irregularities and pay anything he owed, as well as interest and penalties.
But Miah only declared half of the restaurant's business and unregistered for VAT claiming trade was doing badly.
HMRC investigated further by tracing customer payments, carrying out customer head counts and doing test purchases on specific dates comparing them to the records and tax returns.
Miah ultimately pleaded guilty to VAT offences between August 2011 and January 2016 and was jailed at Manchester Crown Court this week to two years in prison.
His Honour Judge Walsh described the racket as 'sophisticated' and told Miah: "It was an intentional act of dishonesty on your part and you were given opportunity in 2016 to come clean but declined that opportunity.
“It was a calculated dishonesty designed to achieve a significant financial benefit to yourself and a loss to the revenue.”
Paul Maybury, assistant director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “While Miah, and his family, enjoyed the illegal untaxed income from his restaurant he was depriving public services of vital funding and gave himself an unfair advantage over his honest competitors.
“He was offered the opportunity to put his tax affairs in order through the Contractual Disclosure Facility. Instead he made a conscious decision to make only a partial disclosure of the tax offences he had committed. He could have been spared a criminal conviction had he fully cooperated with HMRC. If you believe someone is benefitting from tax fraud please call our Fraud hotline on 0800 788 887.”