Rushan Ahmed, 31 of Walsall, was the sole director of the company Four Brothers (Derby) Ltd and ran Moza Derby, an Indian Restaurant located on the Nottingham Road in Derby.

Following a visit from Derby City Council Food Safety Inspectors in February 2015, the restaurant was given a food hygiene rating of 1 and in July 2015 this was amended to zero as no action was taken to put things right.

Despite the low hygiene rating awarded to the restaurant, in the same year Rushan Ahmed placed three adverts in a local magazine, C & C of Oakwood, where he highlighted that the restaurant held a 5-star rating.

This resulted in the council’s trading standards team taking Four Brothers to court in April 2016, where Rushan Ahmed pleaded guilty to the charge that the company engaged in unfair commercial practices.

The company was fined £3,171, while Rushan Ahmed received a personal fine of £1,271, but as the restaurant was not making any profit, Rushan Ahmed decided to cease trading in September 2016.

After the main company – Four Brothers – closed down, the Insolvency Service looked into the conduct of Rushan Ahmed and on 28 June 2018 a disqualification order was made by District Judge John Preston Musgrave at Birmingham County Court against Rushan Ahmed for 5 years.

The judge also ordered that Rushan Ahmed pay costs of £4,231.62 and effective from 19 July 2018, Rushan Ahmed cannot directly or indirectly be involved, without the permission of the court, in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Cllr Matthew Holmes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Public Protection said:

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme serves 2 important purposes. The first is to help consumers choose where to eat out or shop for food by giving information about the hygiene standards in restaurants, pubs, cafés, takeaways, hotels and other places you eat, as well as supermarkets and other food shops. The second is to encourage businesses to work hard to improve hygiene standards and promote greater food safety.

This case shows that we will take action to protect consumers and the integrity of the scheme where businesses seek to gain an unfair advantage by misleadingly claiming a higher rating.

Dave Elliott of the Insolvency Service said:

A zero food hygiene rating should have rung alarm bells for Rushan Ahmed and forced him to get his house in order. But he decided to publish a bogus 5-star hygiene rating designed to draw in business by making a false representation for commercial gain.

This ban should serve as a warning to other directors tempted to engage in unfair commercial practices and if you abuse your duties you could be investigated by the Insolvency Service and lose the privilege of being a company director.