The proprietor of two Indian restaurants in Edinburgh is going to jail after being caught underpaying £87,000 VAT – by changing the company’s name on multiple occasions, and also by using other people’s identities to mask his own involvement.
Hermann Rodrigues (aged 55), ran the Suruchi’ and ‘Suruchi Too’ restaurants in central Edinburgh. Customers were charged VAT, but this was not paid over to HMRC. Between January 2009 to December 2011 he evaded paying £86,543 in VAT. In an attempt to create a smokescreen Rodrigues changed the names of the companies controlling the restaurants on several occasions. And he also used false identities to hide his own involvement.
He was sentenced on 17 March 2017 to 21 months in prison: after pleading guilty to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT, contrary to section 72 of the VAT Act 1994. The taxman has started recovery proceedings to collect the evaded tax of £86,543.
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