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Pizza delivery firm bosses jailed for £600,000 fraud
12:29pm Friday 20th December 2013 in News
TWO Hampshire men have been jailed for carrying out £600,000 VAT fraud at four south coast restaurants.
Harish Desai and Mukesh Patel were sentenced to 18 months behind bars by a judge in Southampton this morning.
The pair were franchisees of Pizza Hut, trading under the name Pizza Delivery Services Ltd, and ran four takeaway restaurants in Southampton, Bournemouth and Poole.
Southampton Crown Court heard the men had failed to pay almost £200,000 in VAT for their Poole restaurant between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2010.
The pair then failed to supply VAT returns for any of their restaurants between July 2010 and September 2011, resulting in debts of more than £400,000 to Her Majesty Revenue and Custom.
The court heard that they used the money to keep their failing business afloat, as they had large outstanding debts and their company would have been declared insolvent otherwise.
Their business has since folded, with all of the restaurants now under new management.
Desai, 61, and Patel, 55 (above), were each sentenced to 18 months imprisonment today after pleading guilty to cheating the public revenue.
They will serve half of their sentence before being allowed out on license.
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