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Fraudster restaurat owner jailed for using a secret card reader to take payments; Giovanni Balboni avoided paying VAT on sales of almost [pounds sterling]2million.

Byline: Danny Thompson

A London-based restaurant owner has been jailed after using a secret card reader for transactions.

Giovanni Balboni, 59, has been sentenced to 30 months in jail at Isleworth Crown Court on Wednesday (October 23) after pleading guilty to fraud.

He admitted taking payments at his restaurant, Osteria del Portico in The Green, using a secret card reader which under-declared how much he charged.

This allowed him to evade [pounds sterling]303,427.30 of VAT due on sales of more than [pounds sterling]1.8million.

His Honour Judge Connell, on sentencing, said the fraud took place over a five-year period and involved planning and many false declarations,reports My London.

Richard Wilkinson, assistant director for the fraud investigation service at HMRC, said: "Balboni thought he could stash his cash away and cheat UK taxpayers. He was wrong and is paying the price for his greed.

"Those who avoid paying their taxes steal money needed to fund vital public services and create an uneven playing field for honest competitors. I urge anyone with information on tax fraud to contact our Hotline on 0800 788 887 and report it."

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Confiscation proceedings have started against Balboni in an attempt to seize assets.

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Giovanni Balboni avoided paying more than [pounds sterling]300,000 worth of VAT

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Author:Danny Thompson
Publication:Chester Chronicle (Chester, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 25, 2019
Words:222
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