A caterer has been landed with a seven-year disqualification after deliberately avoiding paying £500,000 in taxes.
Patrick Olusoji Ekundayo, 66, from Edmonton in London, was the sole director of Peaches. The company, incorporated in August 2010, provided catering services and managed social events.
At its most successful trading period, Peaches hosted up to 60 functions per year and took an average of £10,000 to £15,000 per event.
By March 2013, the company turnover had significantly exceeded the VAT registration threshold and in January 2014 the caterer was advised to register for VAT by his accountant.
Ekundayo, however, failed to register the company, so the tax authorities compulsorily registered Peaches for VAT in November 2017, backdating registration to March 2013.
Despite the registration, Ekundayo did not submit any tax returns, and in July 2018 Peaches went into liquidation, owing more than £500,000 in taxes.
The insolvency triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service, which confirmed that Ekundayo's failure to register for VAT was deliberately non-compliant and he was issued with a penalty of more than £128,000 by the tax authorities.
Enquiries also found that the caterer had under-declared Corporation Tax and National Insurance contributions of more than £264,000.
On 14 January 2021, the secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy accepted an undertaking from Ekundayo, after he did not dispute that he had failed to ensure that Peaches registered for VAT, failed to submit VAT returns and under-declared Corporation Tax and National Insurance contributions.
From 4 February 2021 he is banned from directly or indirectly becoming involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.