Dodgy Hampshire pub boss banned from managing companies after £470k VAT fraud

A TAX-DODGING boss of Hampshire pubs has been rapped by the authorities for illegally pocketing £470,000 in a VAT scam.

Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 12:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 3:54 pm

Paul Anthony Podvoiskis has been disqualified from managing companies for five years following the fraud.

The 68-year-old, of Sherbourne in Warwickshire, headed Candy Experience Limited which ran pubs and restaurants across the south coast, including several in Hampshire.

However, an investigation by government specialists lifted the lid on Podvoiskis’ efforts to hoodwink the tax regime.

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A former pub boss has been rapped for a major VAT scam. Photo: PA

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A probe uncovered that under his leadership, Candy Experience had failed to submit monthly VAT returns from August 2015 until it was liquidated in June 2016.

Investigators also found the company owed outstanding PAYE and national insurance contributions dating back to 2014/15 and that the company failed to settle its tax liabilities.

At the point of liquidation, the tax authorities claimed more than £470,000, which remains outstanding.

Further enquiries established that Candy Experiences’ bank records received more than £3.8m into its account.

Just over £115,000 was paid to the tax authorities and £1,153 in business rates was paid to the local authorities.

The remaining £3.68m, however, was used by Candy Experience to pay trade creditors, wages and other operational costs, including more than £779,000 paid to a connected company.

Podvoiskis appeared at the High Court in London earlier this month where Insolvency and Companies Court judge Catherine Burton made a five-year disqualification order against him. His ban ends on October 8, 2023. Judge Burton also ordered him to pay costs of £47,000.

The 68-year-old former company director, who ran sites in Ringwood, Cadnam and Lymington, was one of two restaurateurs banned from managing companies.

The other, Allan Ho, 52, of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, was disqualified for nine years for suppressing his Larkhall-based takeaway firm’s sales for six years to dodge the taxman.

Keith Owen, director of investigations and enforcement services for the Insolvency Service, said: ‘The majority of directors take their responsibilities seriously but Paul Podvoiskis and Allan Ho both deliberately caused their companies to abuse the tax regime, when they failed to pay the correct amount of tax.

‘Both restaurateurs have received substantial bans for their misconduct and this should serve as a clear warning to other directors that neglecting their statutory duties could lead to being removed from the corporate arena.’

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