The owner of a restaurant in Derby has been banned from running companies for five years after he falsely advertised a five-star food hygiene rating in a local magazine.
Rushan Ahmed, 31, of Walsall was the sole director of Four Brothers (Derby) and ran Moza Derby, an Indian restaurant on Nottingham Road.
Following a visit from Derby City Council food safety inspectors in February 2015, the restaurant was given a food hygiene rating of one. In July 2015 this was reduced to zero as no action was taken to remedy the situation.
Despite this, in the same year, Ahmed placed three adverts in a local magazine, C & C of Oakwood, claiming the restaurant held a five-star rating.
This resulted in the council's trading standards team taking Four Brothers to court in April 2016, where Ahmed pleaded guilty to the charge that the company engaged in unfair commercial practices.
The company was fined £3,171, while Ahmed received a personal fine of £1,271, but as the restaurant was not making any profit, the company ceased trading in September 2016.
The judge also ordered that he pay costs of £4,231.62, and effective from 19 July 2018, he cannot directly or indirectly be involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.
Matthew Holmes, deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration and public protection at Derby City Council, 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."
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 five-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."