An Edinburgh businessman, who owned two Indian restaurants in the city, has been sentenced to 21 months in prison after his VAT evasion was uncovered by an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation.

Hermann Rodrigues, 55, from Kilmaurs Terrace, Edinburgh, the former proprietor of two restaurants in the city, was detained in December 2011 on suspicion of VAT evasion.

Rodrigues changed the names of the controlling companies incorporating the ‘Suruchi’ restaurant on Nicolson Street and ‘Suruchi Too’ on Constitution Street multiple times to evade paying VAT, and used the identity of others to conceal his involvement.

Both restaurants charged their customers VAT on meals, but he failed to pass this on to HMRC evading £86,543 in VAT payments from January 2009 to December 2011.

Action to recover the evaded taxes is now underway.