Jail time for Edinburgh restaurateur guilty of £87,000 VAT evasion

HMRC Most Wanted Tax Evaders Last Year HMRC

The owner of two Indian restaurants in Edinburgh has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after his VAT evasion was uncovered by an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation.

Hermann Rodrigues, 55, from Kilmaurs Terrace, Edinburgh, the former proprietor of two restaurants in the city, was detained in December 2011 on suspicion of VAT evasion.

The businessman was sentenced at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on 17 March 2017 to 21 months in prison. He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing on 17 February 2017 to being knowingly concerned in the fraudulent evasion of VAT, contrary to section 72 of the VAT Act 1994. The total value of the VAT fraud was £86,543.

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Rodrigues changed the names of the controlling companies incorporating the ‘Suruchi’ restaurant on Nicolson Street and ‘Suruchi Too’ on Constitution Street multiple times to evade paying VAT, and used the identity of others to conceal his involvement.

Both restaurants charged their customers VAT on meals, but he failed to pass this on to HMRC evading £86,543 in VAT payments from January 2009 to December 2011.

Action to recover the evaded taxes is now underway.

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