Restaurant Owners Struck Off

9th July 2021

Three Midlands-based restaurateurs have been banned from being company directors after concealing earnings.
Brothers Abul Azad, Abul Ashraf, and Abul Khaled, from Melton Mowbray, operated three Indian restaurants – Apurba, Bombay Brasserie and Tandoori Knights – through their company A & A (Melton Mowbray). Investigators found they “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.

In total, over £566,000 was owing to HM Revenue & Customers (HMRC) when the brothers placed the company into liquidation in August 2018. Azad and Ashraf have been banned from acting as company directors for seven years while Khaled has been banned for three-and-a-half years. They signed disqualification undertakings accepting that they caused or allowed the company to suppress its sales to the detriment of HMRC.

Throughout the Insolvency Service investigation, the brothers sought to discredit and place blame on the company’s accountant, despite receiving written warnings from the accountant in successive years that the company had inadequate record keeping processes in place and that it was obvious that cash and sales records were going missing. In some cases, sales identified solely through card payment data were found to be more than their total reported sales, which also included cash payments.

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.”