The director of a Derby restaurant who faked a 5-star hygiene rating has been given a ban following the culmination of an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Rushan Ahmed of Walsall was the sole director of Four Brothers (Derby) Ltd and ran Moza Derby, an Indian Restaurant located in the city.
Following a visit from Derby City Council Food Safety Inspectors in February 2015, the restaurant was given a food hygiene rating of 1 and in July 2015 this was amended to zero as no action was taken to put things right.
Despite the low hygiene rating awarded to the restaurant, Ahmed went onto place three adverts in a local magazine where he highlighted that the restaurant held a 5-star rating.
This resulted in the council’s trading standards team taking Four Brothers to court in April 2016, where the 31-year-old pleaded guilty to the charge that the company engaged in unfair commercial practices.
The company was fined £3,171, while Ahmed received a personal fine of £1,271, but as the restaurant was not making any profit, he decided to cease trading in September 2016.
After the main company – Four Brothers – closed down, the Insolvency Service looked into the conduct of Ahmed and on 28 June 2018 a disqualification order was made by District Judge John Preston Musgrave at Birmingham County Court against Ahmed for five years.
The judge also ordered that Ahmed pay costs of £4,231 and, effective from 19 July 2018, Ahmed cannot directly or indirectly be involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Cllr Matthew Holmes, deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration and public protection, said: “The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme serves two important purposes. The first is to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops.
“The second is to encourage businesses to work hard to improve hygiene standards and promote greater food safety. This case shows that we will take action to protect consumers and the integrity of the scheme where businesses seek to gain an unfair advantage by misleadingly claiming a higher rating.”
The Insolvency Service said that Mr Ahmed’s ban was a “warning” to other directors tempted to engage in unfair commercial practices that if they abuse their duties they could be investigated by the Insolvency Service.