20th September 2019
The founders of Cook and Indi’s World Buffet have been banned from running a company for a total of 17 years after being found guilty of cheating the taxman of £4m.
Sukdev Gill and Inderjit Singh launched the restaurant chain in 2010 and opened a string of outlets in Glasgow and Lanarkshire. But an investigation found 19 limited companies which they had set up to run the restaurants participated in some form of tax misconduct, including under-declaring tax, failing to register for VAT and concealing tax owed. The Insolvency Service, which launched the investigation, said the business partners had concealed tax on a “grand scale”.
Gill was found to have caused companies he was a director of to conceal VAT resulting in a loss for HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) of £1.97m. He has been disqualified from acting as a company director for eight years. Singh has been banned for nine years after he did not dispute he traded through successor companies while also concealing VAT resulting in a loss of £4.37m.
Five companies the pair set up between 2010 and 2012 all ceased to exist by March 2018, with each one entering into a form of insolvency, either through compulsory liquidation or creditors voluntary liquidation. HMRC made enquiries into the companies before establishing all five had been involved in tax misconduct. After the companies went bust, Singh then set up successor companies, all of which traded as Cook and Indi’s World Buffet to continue the activities of the five companies that had gone through insolvency.
However, each of the 14 companies succumbed to the same fate as their predecessors and entered into a form of insolvency. HMRC looked at the companies’ activities following their liquidation and discovered Singh allowed the buffet restaurant businesses to conceal millions of unpaid tax from HMRC.