Custodial sentence for businessman who cheated taxes

A takeaway owner who stole £165,000 in tax was this month jailed for more than two years.

Charges had been brought against Ozcan Donmez, 33, after it was found that he had withheld cash takings, hidden his true wages and failed to declare income on two rental properties.

The offences took place between 2007 and 2014 and saw Donmez evade £137,322 in Income Tax.

A subsequent investigation launched by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) also found he had suppressed the weekly takings at his Leicestershire-based Superfry shop by half – from £100 to £50 a day to try and avoid paying more than £27,000 in VAT.

Stuart Taylor, assistant director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “Donmez knew full well that he was breaking the law. In doing so he took money away from vital public services and there are no excuses for this type of criminal activity.”

The defendant admitted fraudulent evasion of Income Tax and VAT fraud late last year and last week he was sentenced to 28 months in prison by Leicester Crown Court.

A confiscation order has also been imposed to recover the proceeds of his crime. Donmez must pay back the full amount within three months or face a further two-and-a-half years behind bars.