Press release

Rice Flame restaurant directors disqualified for cooking the books

The directors of Manchester-based Rice Flame Bar & Grill Ltd disqualified for periods of up to 12 years.

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Rice Flame Bar & Grill Ltd operated from various locations in Manchester and included the Rice Decadence lounge where footballers allegedly spent thousands a night.

The two main directors have admitted using illegal till codes and other methods to supress cash sales from being notified to HMRC and employing illegal workers. Manoj Verma admitted to HMRC that he had taken over £700,000 from the company by these actions and is now being forced to repay the tax due on this cash by HMRC. While not formally appointed a director Manoj Verma has admitted he was in control of Rice Flame throughout its trading period and although his mother and brother were nominally directors they had no role or knowledge of the company.

The Secretary of State has accepted undertakings offered by Manoj Krishan Verma (Mr M Verma) of Altrincham, Cheshire disqualifying him from managing or in any way controlling a company or being a director until 1st December 2028, and from Madoka Suzuki of Manchester disqualifying her from managing or in any way controlling a company or being a director until 29th November 2025.

The Secretary of State has also accepted undertakings from Amit Krishan Verma (Mr A Verma) and Usha Krishan Verma (Mrs Verma), both of Altrincham, Cheshire disqualifying each of them from managing or in any way controlling a company or being a director until 29th May 2019 following an investigation by The Insolvency Service’s Company Investigation Team, in Manchester.

Mr A Verma and Mrs Verma were each appointed directors of Rice Flame Bar & Grill Ltd (Rice Flame) between 02 August 2007 and 01 February 2011, Miss Suzuki was an appointed director between 01 February 2011 and 04 April 2013, and again between 29 April 2013 until Rice Flame entered Liquidation on 12 November 2013. Mr M Verma was an appointed director of Rice Flame between 04 April 2013 and 06 November 2013.

Rice Flame was placed into Liquidation on 12 November 2013, with an estimated deficiency to creditors of £694,863. The company traded operating Asian, Chinese and Thai restaurants.

Mr M Verma and Miss Suzuki did not dispute that they caused Rice Flame to suppress its cash sales by deleting cash sales totalling at least £771,460 from its records, and to fail to declare those sales to H M Revenue & Customs, and failed to ensure that Rice Flame complied with its statutory obligations under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006.

Mr A Verma and Mrs Verma did not dispute that they abrogated their duties as directors of Rice Flame in the period from 02 August 2007 until they resigned as directors on 01 February 2011, in that they took no part in the management of the company, thus allowing Rice Flame to suppress its cash sales between January 2008 and January 2011 by deleting certain cash sales from its records, and to employ illegal workers.

Commenting on the case, Rob Clarke , Group Leader Director of Insolvent Investigations North, said:

This deliberate deception on the tax man is totally unacceptable, coupled with the large scale employment of illegal workers it demonstrates a wholesale disregard for the law and a total lack of business ethics .

Working closely with HMRC, the Insolvency Service has effectively ensured those involved will be banned from the limited liability business environment for a long time.

It should also be noted that those named as directors who act as front for others and who take no responsibility for the company will also face the consequences.

Notes to editors

Rice Flame Bar & Grill Ltd, (CRO No. 06331602) was incorporated on 2 August 2007 and operated restaurant premises in Manchester city centre and the Trafford Shopping Centre until entering Liquidation on 12 November 2013.

On 6 November 2015 Miss Madoka Suzuki - date of birth October 1983 - signed a Director Disqualification Undertaking banning her from being a director of a company for ten years.

On 9 November 2015 Mr Amit Krishan Verma – date of birth April 1984 - and Mrs Usha Krishan Verma - date of birth July 1951 - each signed a Director Disqualification Undertaking banning each of them from being a director of a company for a period of three years and 6 months.

The undertakings from Miss Suzuki, Mr A Verma, and Mrs Verma were each accepted by the Secretary of State on 9 November 2015, and the period of disqualification for each commenced on 30 November 2015. On 11 November 2016 Mr Manoj Krishan Verma – date of birth August 1974 - signed a Director Disqualification Undertaking banning him from being a director of a company for a period of twelve years. The undertaking was accepted by the Secretary of State on 11 November 2016 and the period of disqualification will commence on 2 December 2016.

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

Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.

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

The Insolvency Service, an executive agency sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), administers the insolvency regime, and aims to deliver and promote a range of investigation and enforcement activities both civil and criminal in nature, to support fair and open markets. We do this by effectively enforcing the statutory company and insolvency regimes, maintaining public confidence in those regimes and reducing the harm caused to victims of fraudulent activity and to the business community, including dealing with the disqualification of directors in corporate failures.

BEIS’ mission is to build a dynamic and competitive UK economy that works for all, in particular by creating the conditions for business success and promoting an open global economy. The Criminal Investigations and Prosecutions team contributes to this aim by taking action to deter fraud and to regulate the market. They investigate and prosecute a range of offences, primarily relating to personal or company insolvencies.

The agency also authorises and regulates the insolvency profession, 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 25 November 2016