Balloon business owner banned for 9 years after Bounce Back Loan fraud
A retailer from Walsall has been disqualified from running companies for nine years after abusing £45,000 Bounce Back Loan to which she was not entitled.
Rebecca Simmons was a director of Tia-Bella Limited, trading from premises in Queen Street, Wolverhampton.
The company, a specialty balloon and gifts retailer, was incorporated in March 2019 but just over two years later in July 2021, Tia-Bella entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation. Tia-Bella’s insolvency, however, triggered further inquiries from the Insolvency Service.
Investigators discovered that Ms Simmons had applied for a Bounce Back Loan in May 2020, a loan from the government to support viable businesses during the pandemic, but received funds far greater than what Tia-Bella was entitled to.
Ms Simmons had exaggerated the company’s turnover claiming it to be £180,000 and received a £45,000 loan.
But investigators uncovered that based on available records, Tia-Bella’s annual turnover was a maximum of £1,300. This meant Tia-Bella was not entitled to even the minimum Bounce Back Loan of £2,000.
Further inquiries uncovered that in the space of two months, Ms Simmons caused the company to make payments worth just over £31,000, including a £10,000 directors’ loans, £10,000 towards a company car, and £10,000 worth of repayments of deposits incurred before the pandemic.
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