Eleven Fake Companies Used to Funnel 500K of Bounceback Loans

Another week, another tale of fraud involving the Baounceback Loan scheme. Will anyone ever be held accountable for the billions that were taken? No, IE isn’t holding its breath on that one. Meanwhile here’s the latest from the Insolvency Service, who seem pleased they have shut the door after the horse has bolted.

The Insolvency Service has successfully secured the winding-up of 11 companies for their part in a scheme which orchestrated systematic fraud against UK taxpayers during the covid-19 pandemic. Between them, the companies claimed £500,000 through the Bounce Back Loan scheme. The companies claimed to be registered at various offices in Berkshire, Lancashire, London and Shropshire, however the Insolvency Service investigation could not identify trading premises for any of the businesses, nor that they had ever traded.

IE traced one address listed on Companies House for MAK International, one of the companies involved in this case. There are currently two active companies also listed at that address, which is a home on a social housing estate near Sheffield. Not business premises. Why doesn’t the Companies House software attach a red flag to any linked companies, or investigate their most recent accounts, or check with HMRC on Directors assets and declared income? It just seems like the most basic of cross-referencing and checking would have prevented over half of ALL Bounceback Loan fraud.

Nine of the companies were found to have claimed the maximum available £50,000 through the Bounce Back Loan scheme, with one company even claiming two loans. Investigators found a host of links between the various companies, including the use of common addresses, with funds being moved between them before ultimately being transferred to entities registered in Hong Kong.

The companies were identified by investigators due to their links to five other companies that had previously been wound up by the Insolvency Service in 2021 and 2022. These had themselves been responsible for fraudulently claiming £250,000 between them in Bounce Back Loans and £350,000 in Small Business Grants.

The Official Receiver was appointed liquidator of the 11 companies closed down by the court at the hearing on 22 May 2023. The Official Receiver is working to trace the funds and those responsible, with a view to recovering the money.

About alastair walker 12131 Articles
20 years experience as a journalist and magazine editor. I'm your contact for press releases, events, news and commercial opportunities at Insurance-Edge.Net

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