Harrogate magistrates

Harrogate takeaway owner sentenced for £175k VAT fraud

12 November 2020

A takeaway owner has been sentenced after he hid online sales to evade paying more than £175,000 in VAT.

Tien Poon Su, of Beckwith Rd, Harrogate, ran Sakura Takeaway (Headingly, Leeds) and failed to declare online sales worth more than £1.7 million to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Investigations found the 52-year-old used a personal bank account to take payments from online food order services, but never told HMRC or paid any VAT. In total he evaded £175,965 in VAT between August 2012 and March 2019.

Su admitted VAT fraud at Harrogate Magistrates’ Court on 15 October 2020. He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, and 250 hours unpaid work, at York Crown Court on 12 November 2020.

HMRC is pursuing recovery of the unpaid VAT

An HMRC spokesperson said:

Su thought he could hide his earnings and pocket taxpayer’s money, which should be used to fund our vital public services.

We will continue to pursue the small minority who think VAT fraud is acceptable. If you know anyone who is committing tax fraud or laundering money, you can report them to HMRC on gov.uk or call our Fraud Hotline on 0800 788 887.


  1. Seems quite a pathetic sentence, does he bot have to also pay the back dated VAT? If not then he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank at 250 hours community service for £175k stolen from the tax payer?

    Never mind deterrent, this is more of an encouragement to others to commit VAT fraud – the reward far outweighs the risk?

  2. They say crime does not PAY. 250 hours unpaid work for sealing £175,000 Its an insult to every UK tax payer.

  3. Never mind having his sentence being suspended for 2 years he new what he was doing he should do time in prison I just wonder how much he got away with

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