Restaurateur jailed for running companies despite ban

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Restaurateur jailed for running companies despite ban

Related tags: Legal action, Restaurant

A restaurateur who oversaw three London sites has been jailed for 14 months after continuing to run companies despite a previous ban.

Sarkis Agop Kouyoumdjian, aged 55, of Kensington High Street, West London, appeared at Southwark Crown Court on 14 September where he also received a nine year directorship disqualification.

The court heard that in November 2011 Kouyoumdjian was banned from running companies for four years after a restaurant he was a director of failed, owing unpaid taxes.

However, he ignored the ban and from November 2011 to May 2014 continued to run Asian fusion site Cocochan and two sites of Middle Eastern restaurant Massis.

Kouyoumdjian ran the restaurants through two companies, Live London Limited and Plaha Catering & Events Limited, but use of the restaurants’ names had been banned through earlier insolvencies and his connection with them.

He fraudulently transferred £59,000 to an associate from a company that he shouldn’t have been running shortly before it entered into Creditors Voluntary Liquidation, and also failed to deliver to the liquidator all the files that were needed to help formally shut down the company.

And between 2012 and 2013 Kouyoumdjian operated a property company, Tamarix Properties Limited, which bought several west London flats using money from the restaurants.

On 5 September he pleaded guilty at Southwark Crown Court to four counts of running companies while disqualified, two counts of using a prohibited company name, as well as one count of fraudulently removing property in anticipation of the commencement of the winding up of a company and another count of failing to deliver up books and records to a liquidator.

"Sarkis Kouyoumdjian knew exactly what he’d signed up for when he accepted his four-year disqualification but he brazenly ignored its restrictions and continued running restaurants and a property company,” says Ian West, deputy chief investigation officer of the Insolvency Service.

"This was a flagrant abuse of company and insolvency law and thanks to the joint investigation with the Metropolitan Police, Sarkis Kouyoumdjian’s sentence should serve as a warning to others that such abuses will be investigated and disqualifications will be enforced."

Related topics: Legislation

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