The latest from the UK Gov press office;
CK Sales Ltd and Lambden Smart Solutions Ltd have been wound up by the High Court and the Official Receiver has been appointed liquidator of the companies. Both companies purported to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), which was desperately needed when the pandemic hit. However, the Insolvency Service investigation found no evidence that either company had ever traded in the PPE supply market or any other area of business.
Both companies were registered at addresses in Droylsden, Manchester. In the case of CK Sales the landlord of the address told investigators he had never heard of the company, while the address that Lambden Smart Solutions was registered at was found not to exist. CK Sales fabricated false lease documents and utility bills and sent these to at least 14 different local authorities to claim they were a business operating in their area, and to apply for grants under the Small Business Grant Scheme set up to support business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Most were identified as fraudulent but the company received £80,000 from a number of local authorities before the fraud was identified. CK Sales was also not entitled to taxpayer funding through the separate Bounce Back Loan Scheme, but nevertheless secured a £50,000 loan. Lambden Smart Solutions was similarly found to have received a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan to which it was not entitled.
The Insolvency Service investigation was started following intelligence received through the National Anti-Fraud Network, and as a result both companies have been shut down.
There is evidence that both companies were part of a wider fraud network as the investigation identified links to SIO Traders Ltd and LV Distributions Ltd, which were shut down last year for fraudulently claiming Covid-19 financial support and also claimed to supply PPE, as well as medical products.
Interestingly one Director of CK Sales is Chacko Kurian, listed as having Resigned on Companies House. Chacko is also sole Director of THY Ltd – a wholesaler business based in Leatherhead – which in its most recent accounts declared a turnover of just under one million. Net profits in year ending March 2021 were £152,000 but we are betting that THY doesn’t have that money in the bank now.
Another search of Companies House revealed a Chacko Kurian registered as a new Director, appointed late December 2021, of Hibuscus Investors Ltd, a property lettings company, with £60 of assets and no accounts, registered at 37 Elmbridge Lane Woking. Which is a social housing address according to Google Maps. This Chacko Kurian was also born May 1973, just like Mr Chacko Kurian of CK Sales, but it may well be a different person from the one involved with the Droylsden massive.
Yeah, probably all legit and above board.