Two men have been jailed for a total of 33 years after they were found to have been running a £70m money laundering scheme with £10m of fraudulent coronavirus bounce-back loans.
In what police believe to be the largest bounce-back loan fraud since the scheme began in 2020, Artem Terzyan and Deivis Grochiatskij opened bank accounts in the names of a number of fake companies before fraudulently claiming the loans for each of up to £50,000 a time. They generated a total of more than £10m.
The men were already on bail following a 2018 arrest for money laundering. They have now been convicted for the fraud and were sentenced last month at Kingston Crown Court to 17 years and 16 years in prison respectively.
This case comes off the back of numerous press reports that HMRC has begun investigations into claims for bounce-back loans, furlough payments, income support for the self-employed, and the eat-out-to-help-out scheme during the pandemic in a bid to reclaim what is believed to be billions of pounds of fraudulent or mistaken claims.
There have already been more than 26,500 interventions into the furlough programme, income support for the self-employed, and the eat-out-to-help-out scheme with more expected over the next 12 months.
As the UK economy continues to suffer from the impact of the pandemic, HMRC will be looking to recover as much taxpayer’s money as possible; whether the money was deliberately fraudulently claimed or whether a mistake was made during the application process.
If you have been approached for a tax investigation regarding the claiming of financial support for your business during the coronavirus pandemic and would like legal advice or representation, our expert fraud and business crime solicitors can assist. It is important to seek advice at the earliest opportunity to understand your position and the next steps so get in touch today on 0845 287 0939 or contact us by email.