Man found with £17,000 in cash arrested over ‘Bounce Back Loan fraud’
A man has been arrested on suspicion of falsely applying for a Bounce Back Loan and allegedly using the money to buy personal items.
The arrest, thought to be the first relating to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, was carried out at the 52-year-old’s home address in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire.
A number of “high value” watches were seized alongside £17,000 in cash by officers from the National Crime Agency, who searched both the man’s home and a nearby lock-up.
'The first potential fraud'
“This arrest is the first by the NCA in relation to potential fraud against the government’s Bounce Back Loan scheme,” said the agency’s branch commander Simon Gower.
More than £38billion has been claimed through the BBL scheme, which the government extended at the Winter Economy Plan to January 31st 2021.
But the NCA says any fraudulent applications against the scheme may be criminally prosecuted, with penalties including “imprisonment or a fine or both.”
The ongoing investigation into the alleged BBL fraud comes after a company director was jailed for three years for using fake documents during a HMRC tax fraud investigation.
Prabhdyal Singh Sodhi created and submitted bogus documents to support tax relief claims worth £270,000, with help from his company secretary Rajesh Doshi.
But it was the 64-year-old company director whose claims for corporation tax group relief (which allows the transfer of losses between qualifying companies), were rejected by HMRC.
Instead of taking the chance to own up or admit error to the taxman, Mr Sodhi conspired with Mr Doshi to draw up fraudulent paperwork to try to prove his £270k claim.
Doshi, 49, was handed a one-year jail sentence (suspended for two years) for his part in the fraud, which HMRC called a “deliberate attempt to cheat the tax system and pocket money”.
Both men were charged and found guilty of cheating the public revenue after a trial at Nightingale court in Borough, London on November 3rd. They were sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on November 6th.