District Judge Ranson at the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts Manchester Orders the Wind-Up of 11 Dodgy Companies Whose Directors Blagged a Fortune in Bounce Back Loans and Small Business Grants with the Money Ending up in Hong Kong

Network of fake companies shut down following Bounce Back Loan fraud.

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11 sham companies were part of a group that fraudulently claimed UK-taxpayer funds and transferred the money to Hong Kong.

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.

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. The Official Receiver is working to trace the funds and those responsible, with a view to recovering the money.

Dave Hope, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, said:

We want to ensure the UK is a safe and fair place to trade, and if there is evidence sham companies are operating and involved in the systematic abuse of taxpayers’ money, we will take action to have them shut down.

These rogue firms abused the government’s support for genuine businesses in their time of greatest need.

Background

  • Laslett Industries Limited (company reg no 11690274)
  • JP Capital Management Ltd (formerly called Hampton Brookers Limited) (company reg no 11690206)
  • CMJA Limited (company reg no 11690056)
  • JK Distributions Limited (company reg no 11667454)
  • Kubrick Trade Ltd (company reg no 11386566)
  • Lowe Brokers Limited (company reg no 11474219)
  • Rubeum Auri Limited (company reg no 11886277)
  • Share Apartment Limited (company reg no 12248395)
  • Stella Management Limited (company reg no 11886188)
  • Globexel Ltd (company reg no 12063877)
  • JLS Enterprises Limited (company reg no 11830409)

The grounds for winding up the 11 companies included, variously: being vehicles for the abuse of the BBL Scheme; being a vehicle for the abuse of an invoice financing agreement; lack of transparency; failure to cooperate with the investigation; failure to maintain, preserve and/or deliver up adequate accounting records; failure to file statutory accounts and confirmation statements; facilitating fraudulent activity.

The companies were wound up by the High Court of Justice, Business and Property Courts Manchester.

The Official Receiver was appointed as liquidator of the 11 companies following the winding up orders being made by District Judge Ranson.

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