The husband and wife directors of a fish and chip franchise in Morden, London, have been disqualified from acting as company directors for seven years after failing to record all of their cash takings and under-declaring their VAT.
Tuncay and Leyla Saglam, who set up Mr Cod in 2008, owed more than £545,000 in arrears of VAT, PAYE and National Insurance Contributions, and Corporation Tax by the time the takeaway went into liquidation in 2016.
The disqualifications follow collaboration between the Insolvency Service and HMRC whose investigations established that the pair caused or allowed the company to submit inaccurate statutory VAT returns by the deliberate suppression of sales income being to their benefit.
Commenting on the disqualification, Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of investigations with the Insolvency Service said: “The periods of these disqualifications sends a clear message to other company directors that tax abuse of any kind, particularly when it comes to suppression of cash takings by directors will not be tolerated.
“Defrauding the Exchequer of taxes, deprives the public services of much needed funds required to ensure the public receives the services it rightfully deserves.
“The Insolvency Service will therefore not hesitate to take action against directors so they cannot abuse limited liability provided by trading through a company.
Mr Cod operates a number of fish and chip franchises in South East England specialising in fish and chicken. It was launched in 1979 by John Brewer, a previous director of Kentucky Fried Chicken.