American Confectionery in London is under council investigation over financial problems, it has been learned. Westminster Council is reportedly looking for 30 such outlets on Oxford Street alone.
The council launched its investigation after being found guilty of failing to pay the companies’ full rates, according to reports. There could be up to £7.9m of unaccounted commercial tariffs, MailOnline reported.
A TikToker has been credited with bringing issues to light. CazzaTime recently shared a clip in which it suggested an investigation into money laundering allegations.
According to the TikToker, there would be a tendency for companies to liquidate before the deadline for professional rates. MailOnline claims the companies which share directors with Kingdom of Sweets – which they name Croftray Limited and Old Green Limited – have already been liquidated due to £2million in rates.
The CazzaTime TikTok account specializes in personal finance clips. Of his more than 207,000 subscribers, 12,000 liked the clip where he explains his “candy store” theory.
A spokesperson for Kingdom of Sweets told MailOnline: “We are a respectable business paying all applicable taxes and tariffs. The problem of opening and closing competing stores without paying business tariffs has had a negative impact on our trade in an extremely difficult environment.
“As a responsible business, we support plans to crack down on this practice and will continue to work with Westminster Council.”
Councilor Adam Hug, leader of Westminster City Council, told the MailOnline: ‘Anyone walking down Oxford Street is struck by the ever-increasing number of American-style confectioneries and shoddy souvenir outlets. They are not not just an eyesore; they are a threat to the status and value of what is supposed to be the nation’s premier shopping street.
“The problem is that building owners turn a blind eye to those who sublet them because it means they are not responsible for business rates. That’s why we have an eruption of American candy stores in places prestigious.
“This must stop and we will step up the pressure on landlords to make it clear that they are responsible for Oxford Street being invaded by these types of shops. People selling overpriced sweets are cheating the taxpayer British and very often defraud their customers in the windfall.”