Case details for Chin Seong Lam

Name: Chin Seong Lam

Name: Novari Limited

Date of Birth: 28 / 1 / 1958

Date Order Starts: 3 / 7 / 2019

Disqualification Length: 12 Years 0 Month(s)

CRO Number: 08050268

Last Known Address: THE MOUNT, MOLYNEAUX AVENUE, , , HEMEL HEMPSTEAD, HP3 0NZ

Conduct: 1. Novari Limited trading as Water Margin Chinese Restaurant Lam Chin Seong (“Mr Lam”) caused Novari Limited trading as Water Margin Chinese Restaurant (“Novari”) to provide false information about the nature of its business and its annual turnover in its Value Added Tax Registration Form. Further, between 30 April 2012 and 16 November 2016, Mr Lam caused Novari to be used to evade VAT liabilities when he failed to declare any VAT tax due to HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”) and he caused Novari to pay automated VAT assessments raised by HMRC which he knew were lower than Novari’s actual tax liabilities.

  • Novari was incorporated on 30 April 2012 and it commended to trade in the same month. Novari registered for VAT on 1 April 2013 and was allocated a unique VAT registration number of 163 1079 27. The VAT registration form for Novari was completed and submitted electronically to HMRC by him on behalf of the company using his son’s details;
  • In the VAT registration form, Novari’s trade description declared to HMRC was stated as an “Art and Illustration Company” with an estimated annual turnover of £10,000. Novari was trading as an oriental buffet restaurant and with approximated annual turnover during the specified period ranging between £1.22 million and £1.42 million.
  • Novari failed to file any VAT returns whilst it was trading. As a result HMRC raised quarterly tax assessments for the quarter ended 08/13 to the quarter ended 11/16 ranging between £131 and £266, which were calculated using the declared annual turnover of £10,000. Novari never challenged the assessments, instead opting to pay these assessments. After taking into account the total payments made for assessed VAT liabilities of £3,076, the VAT liability due was £623,617;
  • On 6 July 2016 HMRC made an unannounced visit to Novari. On 18 September 2016, Novari ceased to trade and closed. On 28 October 2016, a board meeting was held and Mr Lam instructed for Novari to be placed in into liquidation on 15 November 2016;
  • In August 2016, HMRC Fraud Investigation Criminal Team commenced investigations into Novari. As a result of the investigations and in relation to the VAT element, Mr Lam was charged with 2 counts of “Being knowingly concerned in fraudulent evasion of VAT” in relation to Novari and another connected company; and
  • On 23 November 2018 Mr Lam pleaded guilty to the charges and on 20 December 2018 he was given a custodial sentence. 2. Novari (at the O2) Limited trading as Water Margin Chinese Restaurant and Water Margin Jazz Club Lam Chin Seong (“Mr Lam”) caused Novari (at the O2) Limited trading as Water Margin Chinese Restaurant and Water Margin Jazz Club (“Novari O2”) to provide false information about the nature of its business and its annual turnover in its Value Added Tax Registration Form. Further, between 4 December 2012 and 13 April 2017, he caused Novari O2 to be used to evade VAT liabilities when he failed to declare any VAT tax due to HMRC and he caused Novari O2 to pay automated VAT assessments raised by HMRC which he knew were lower than Novari O2’s actual tax liabilities.
  • Novari O2 was incorporated on 4 December 2012. Novari O2 registered for VAT on 1 April 2013 and was allocated unique VAT Registration Number 176 9352 67. The VAT registration form for Novari O2 was completed and submitted electronically to HMRC by Mr Lam on behalf of the company using his son’s details;
  • In the VAT registration form, Novari O2’s trade description was declared to HMRC as the “manufacturing of pottery” with an estimated annual turnover of £80,000. Novari O2 was trading as an oriental restaurant and a jazz club with an approximated annual turnover during the specified period ranging between £905,000 and £1.5 million;
  • Novari O2 failed to file any VAT returns whilst it was trading. As a result HMRC raised annual tax assessments for the period ended12/14 of £2,614; 12/15 of £5,114; 12/16 of £2,556 and for the quarter ended 03/17 of £717, which were calculated using the declared annual turnover of £80,000. Novari O2 never challenged the assessments, instead opting to pay these assessments. The total payments made were £13,059. After taking into account the payments made for assessed VAT liabilities, the VAT liability due was £378,756;
  • Novari O2 ceased to trade on 12 April 2017 and was placed into Liquidation on 29 September 2017;
  • In August 2016, HMRC Fraud Investigation Criminal Team commenced investigations into Novari O2. As a result of the investigations, and in relation to the VAT element, he was charged with 2 counts of “Being knowingly concerned in fraudulent evasion of VAT” in relation to Novari O2 and another connected company;
  • Between December 2014 and November 2016, Mr Lam made a false personal income declaration in his Self-Assessment form submitted to HMRC. He declared an income of £2,100 when he received at least £100,800 from Novari O2 during the specified period. In relation to this, Mr Lam was charged with 1 count of “Enter into/concerned in the acquisition/retention/use or control of criminal property”; and
  • On 23 November 2018 Mr Lam pleaded guilty to all 3 charges and on 20 December 2018 he was given a custodial sentence. 

    This information is correct as at 2 / 8 / 2019



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