Restaurateur used stolen VAT money to pay school fees

The owner of a Surrey restaurant has been jailed for almost four years after using stolen VAT money to pay her children’s school fees.

Huey Jun Khoo, along with her business partner Jing Fu, used an off-the-record card machine at the Bon East Chinese restaurant in Farnham to pocket £180,000 in VAT over four years, an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation found.

Khoo and Fu, both directors of the restaurant, were caught after HMRC officers made a surprise visit in May 2015 and found two card reading machines – one linked to a business bank account and the other to a bank account which Khoo had opened in the name of one of the restaurant’s chefs.

Customer payments made into the ‘chef’ account were never declared to HMRC, to evade paying VAT.

Following the HMRC visit, the pair burned the business records in a bid to hide their crimes. Two documents which Khoo kept were discovered at her home in April 2016. Investigators also found £12,000 in cash hidden in a wardrobe.

Khoo used the stolen cash for school fees, designer clothes and holidays.

Khoo, 50, admitted evading VAT, money laundering and perverting the course of justice. She has been jailed for three years and nine month and disqualified as a director for six years.