£245K tax bill for kebab shop owner

A jailed Warrington takeaway owner, who failed to declare his sales in order to evade tax, must repay £245,000 or face another two years behind bars, a court has ruled

Mehmet Tekagac was jailed for 30 months for tax evasion after not declaring takings from the Top Grill Kebab and Pizza House, following a HMRC investigation which identified he owed £98,381 in VAT and £31,244 in corporation tax.

Tekagac claimed to earn just £9,000 a year but was hiding the takings from his shop to evade paying corporation tax and kept the VAT he charged customers. Tekagac also lied about how much he earned to claim £49,528 in child tax credits as a low income family. He was jailed in September last year after admitting fraud.

Following a confiscation hearing at Liverpool crown court, he has now been ordered to repay £245,105 within three months, or spend another two years in prison and still owe the money.

The confiscation hearing was told Tekagac sold land and buildings at Longbarn Local Centre in Padgate and his former takeaway, for £305,000, shortly before admitting his crimes. He also transferred a house in Warrington to his brother.

The court ruled Tekagac lived a criminal lifestyle with assets beyond any legitimate income he had. This means Tekagac must repay more than the £179,000 he was convicted of stealing.

Debbie Porter, assistant director, fraud investigation service, HMRC, said: ‘Tekagac amassed a wealth of assets while claiming to earn just £9,000 a year from his business. His web of lies came crashing down and he faces even longer behind bars if he does not repay the money he stole.’

Report by Pat Sweet

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