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Law Enforcers Relentless in Pursuit of Nightclub Boss’s Unpaid Tax

UK law enforcers are relentless in their efforts to ensure that criminals do not profit from their misdeeds. In one case, a man who pocketed door receipts from a nightclub where drug dealing was rife was hit with a bill for over £1 million in respect of unpaid tax and penalties 20 years after the venue was raided by police.

The man was arrested following the raid but evaded trial by absconding to Northern Cyprus. He remained there for 12 years before his enforced return to the UK, where he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for allowing the club to be used for drug dealing. He had engaged in property frauds whilst living on the island, but his attempt to move criminal profits to Thailand was thwarted and £1.5 million that had been routed through London was seized by the UK authorities.

The National Crime Agency stepped into the shoes of HM Revenue and Customs in pursuing him for tax that he had not paid on his receipts from the club. He was issued with demands for almost £620,000 in respect of unpaid Income Tax and more than £430,000 in respect of late payment penalties.

In dismissing his appeal against those demands, the First-tier Tribunal rejected arguments that he had played no part in the management of the club. It found that he had been paid door receipts from the club and another venue of between £5,000 and £10,000 per week on which he had paid no tax. The assessment of the tax that he owed was justified and the penalty was proportionate.