Press release

9-year ban for restaurant boss after failing to pay correct tax

Director of a restaurant company has been disqualified for 9 years after he suppressed and concealed sales figures to avoid paying the correct amount of tax.

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Azam Ali was the sole registered director of the company Pabna Restaurant Ltd (Pabna), which traded as an Indian restaurant in Pontefract, West Yorkshire.

The restaurant began trading in 2006 as a family business owned by Azam Ali’s brother before Azam Ali took over the business in 2011. He then incorporated it as a limited company in March 2012.

The company catered to the West Yorkshire area and traded from property which the company owned in Ropergate, Pontefract. But in April 2017, the company entered into voluntary liquidation having not paid the right amount of tax.

The Insolvency Service carried out investigations following the company’s liquidation and found that Azam Ali caused the company to suppress and conceal sales figures, which meant the company under-declared and underpaid the correct amount of tax.

As a result, on 7 June 2018 the Secretary of State accepted a disqualification undertaking from Azam Ali where he did not dispute the Insolvency Service’s findings.

Effective from 28 June 2018, Azam Ali is now banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company for 9 years.

Commenting on the disqualification, Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Investigations for the Insolvency Service said:

The majority of businesses comply with statutory legislation. However, some companies fail to do so and deliberately underpay their taxes.

The ban of Azam Ali demonstrates our determination to clamp down on those directors who avoid paying the correct levels of tax and we will levy hefty periods of disqualification whether they cooperate or not.

Notes to editors

Azam Ali stated he is of Bangladeshi nationality and gave his date of birth as November 1978.

Pabna Restaurant Ltd (Company Reg no. 07990640) and traded from property which the company owned at 19, Ropergate, Pontefract WF8 1LG.

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings. Details of Azam Ali’s disqualification is found here.

A disqualification order has the effect that without specific permission of a court, a person with a disqualification cannot:

  • act as a director of a company
  • take part, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, formation or management of a company or limited liability partnership
  • be a receiver of a company’s property

Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.

The Insolvency Service administers the insolvency regime, investigating all compulsory liquidations and individual insolvencies (bankruptcies) through the Official Receiver to establish why they became insolvent. It may also use powers under the Companies Act 1985 to conduct confidential fact-finding investigations into the activities of live limited companies in the UK. In addition, the agency authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, deals with disqualification of directors in corporate failures, assesses and pays statutory entitlement to redundancy payments when an employer cannot or will not pay employees, provides banking and investment services for bankruptcy and liquidation estate funds and advises ministers and other government departments on insolvency law and practice.

Further information about the work of the Insolvency Service, and how to complain about financial misconduct, is available.

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Published 30 July 2018