Northampton takeaway owner who failed to declare £100k of earnings is sentenced

Zhaoyuan Luo, 53, deliberately hid sales to evade paying VAT and failed to declare the extra income from his Boothville takeaway, New Sage Silver River.
Zhaoyuan Luo, 53, deliberately hid sales to evade paying VAT and failed to declare the extra income from his Boothville takeaway, New Sage Silver River.

A Northampton man who lied about the income from his Chinese takeaway to steal more than £55,000 in tax has been sentenced.

Zhaoyuan Luo, 53, deliberately hid sales to evade paying VAT and failed to declare the extra income from his Boothville takeaway New Sage Silver River, a HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) probe has revealed.

Investigators uncovered that between April 2013 and March 2017 Luo pocketed the cash made from online orders placed via a third-party booking system.

A comparison of Luo’s sales records and figures previously supplied to HMRC revealed he kept £23,586 in unpaid VAT.

Luo funnelled the cash into a separate bank account, making 96 deposits over four years, in a bid to cover his tracks. The fraud proceeds were used to buy two properties.

He also failed to declare an extra income of £100,526, meaning he should have paid £32,216 of Income Tax.

Luo admitted the fraud at a hearing at Northampton Crown Court on 10 December 2018.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years at the same court today (11 January 2019).

Luo was sentenced to 18 months in prison suspended for two years, 250 hours of unpaid work and court costs of £500.

An HMRC spokeswoman said: “Luo made a deliberate decision to not disclose his sales in an attempt to avoid his tax obligations and keep the cash, and now he’s paying the price with a criminal record.

“Criminals like Luo create an uneven playing field for the honest majority and that is something we will not tolerate. Anyone with information about tax fraud should report it to HMRC online or contact our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.”

Information about any type of tax fraud can be reported to HMRC online at https://www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business.