Food rating fraud puts boss out of business

Rushan Ahmed, 31, from Walsall, Derby, pretended his Indian restaurant, Moza Derby, had a five star rating when it only had a one-star and later zero-star. He was prosecuted and fined for this by Derby City Council in 2016. When Ahmed decided to close the business - the Four Brothers (Derby) Ltd - down the insolvency service then got involved.

On 28th June 2018 a disqualification order was made by District Judge John Preston Musgrave at Birmingham County Court against Ahmed for five years. He was also ordered to pay costs of £4,231.62 and from 19 July 2018, was forbiden directly or indirectly be involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Dave Elliott of the insolvency service said, “A zero food hygiene rating should have rung alarm bells for Rushan Ahmed and forced him to get his house in order. But he decided to publish a bogus 5-star hygiene rating designed to draw in business by making a false representation for commercial gain. This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to engage in unfair commercial practices and if you abuse your duties you could be investigated by the insolvency service and lose the privilege of being a company director.”

In 2015 Ahmed took out three adverts in 2015 in a local magazine called C&C of Oakwood where he claimed his restaurant had a five-star food hygiene rating.

However, the restaurant had been given a one-star rating following a visit from Derby City Council Food Safety Inspectors in February 2015. When no improvements were made, that rating was revoked to a zero star in the July of the same year.

Derby City Council’s trading standards team took Ahmed to court in April 2016, where he pleaded guilty to the charge that the company engaged in unfair commercial practices. The company was fined £3,171 and Ahmed received a personal fine of £1,271.

In September 2016 Amhed closed his company – the Four Brothers (Derby) Ltd - down as the restaurant was not making any profit.

Matthew Holmes, deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration and public protection said, “This case shows that we will take action to protect consumers and the integrity of the scheme where businesses seek to gain an unfair advantage by misleadingly claiming a higher rating.”

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