BOUNCE BACK LOAN FRAUD
Bounce back loans were a government initiative that allowed businesses to borrow money from mainstream banks to enable them to weather the storm of the Covid19 pandemic.
Although it was the banks that were lending the money, the Government, or rather the taxpayer were the guarantors of such loans.
To get the scheme up and running quickly, the banks operated a ‘self-declaration’ policy when it came to declaring previous year turnover. Businesses were able to borrow up to 25% of this figure or £50,000 as an absolute maximum. The treasury recently published figures recently stating that £47 billion had been borrowed.
The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) estimates the Bounce Back Loan Scheme could cost the taxpayer £27 billion in fraud or credit losses, with the 100% taxpayer guarantee leaving the Department “reliant on banks that it admits lack incentives given it is not their money on the line”.
TYPES OF BOUNCE BACK LOAN FRAUD
Two types of Bounce Back Loan Fraud:
Deliberate / organised fraud – this is often committed by organised criminal gangs and can include the impersonation of a legitimate business, submitting multiple fraudulent applications with different banks, and using compromised persons to accept the loans and
then liquidating the business.
Soft fraud – where an individual or business has exaggerated or overstated turnover to obtain a Bounce Back Loan.
Obtaining a loan to which you were not entitled to may result in you being charged with:
Fraud by false representation.
Fraud by abuse of position.
Conspiracy to defraud.
In these circumstances, depending on the nature and scale, the National Crime Agency (NCA), police, and/or HMRC will investigate your business and may search the premises and related documents such as bank accounts to see how the money was spent. You may also
be asked to attend an interview under caution.
HOW CAN TAYLOR LAW HELP ME?
If you are being investigated on suspicion of Bounce Back Loan fraud you should contact Taylor Law and we will assign you a Criminal Fraud Solicitor immediately. We will ensure that the investigating body acts within their lawful boundaries, and we can also attend any interviews under caution with you to advise and make sure that you do not say anything that may be incriminating. We can also help you to construct a defence, should any allegation turn into a prosecution.
CHOOSING TAYLOR LAW
Penalties for fraud can be substantial, ranging from community orders and fines through to sizeable financial orders and lengthy prison sentences. At Taylor Law we will start work on your representation without delay, building a strong defence and raising any issues there
may be in mitigation.
Our solicitors have experience in a wide range of business and financial crimes. Some of our partners have rights of audience in higher courts, meaning they can represent you without the need for a barrister.
We have criminal defence solicitors in Middlesbrough, Leeds and London who are experts in the field and who will be able to answer any questions you may have. We provide a first- rate legal service and have an excellent track record of success.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London)