Three businessman brothers who enjoyed a lavish lifestyle whilst scamming HMRC out of £3 million in a series of tax scams have been sent to prison.

Shahab, Shahin and Hedayat Hashtroudi failed to pay VAT and pocketed income tax and national insurance contributions from their employees’ wages for eight years.

The brothers, all from the plush Talbot Woods area Bournemouth, ran 11 companies trading as bars and restaurants across Dorset Hampshire and Surrey, including the Alcatraz Bar & Brasserie in Poole and Bournemouth. The pattern was that as soon as one company was beginning to fail due to bulging HMRC debt, then another company would be set up carrying on in the same way as the previous company.

Stephen Hobson, of Francis Clark Business Recovery, was appointed liquidator of one of those companies, Candy Experience, in June 2016 which owed £403k to HMRC. Upon taking over the liquidation we soon found that there had been 7 previous liquidations of the same business. Furthermore, just prior to liquidation, the company’s business had been sold on again to yet another company and so the saga went on, racking up more taxpayer debt ….

Shahab Hashtroudi, 68, described as “the orchestrator” was jailed for six years at Southampton Crown Court whilst his other “serial offender” brothers Shahab, 64, and Shahin, 58, were both sentenced to four years in prison. However, although they controlled Candy Experience Limited, they were not registered at Companies House as the directors because they had already been disqualified to act as directors for previous misdemeanours.

Their bookkeeper Tracy Carder, 42, was also given a two-year sentence, suspended for two years.

HMRC said that confiscation proceedings to recover the proceeds of the crimes has started.

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