News |Bounce Back Loans

6th June 2024

Bounce Back Loans: May 2024 news roundup

A recap of May 2024’s Bounce Back Loan Scheme-related stories.

As we’ve been reporting, the Insolvency Service’s recent press releases have been awash with director disqualifications and bankruptcy restrictions related to misuse of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS).

May 2024 was a particularly busy month, with 7 separate updates from the Insolvency Service on the topic of Bounce Back Loans.

Suspended sentences

Several individuals have received suspended sentences for misusing the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.

Sehrish Yasmin, a restaurant manager in London, was given a suspended sentence after using £12,000 of Bounce Back Loan money to purchase jewellery instead of supporting her business. The £12,000 was taken from 2 £50,000 loans obtained by Ms Yasmin, despite companies only being eligible for a single loan under the scheme. Moreover, Ms Yasmin failed to deliver records to the liquidator when her company was liquidated in May 2021.

Another case involved a cleaner, Anna Dalecka, also based in London, who received a suspended sentence for abusing the loan scheme. Ms Dalecka “wildly overstated her takings by £216,000” in claiming the maximum £50,000 loan.

Sheffield-based James Todd was sentenced after spending a fraudulently obtained loan for a non-existent business on a BMW, among other personal expenditure. Mr Todd obtained a £50,000 loan for Pro Detailing, a business he invented – along with its £255,000 turnover – for the purpose of applying for a Bounce Back Loan. He spent £49,755 of the loan funds “on personal purposes” in less than a month.

Similarly, Rian O’Keeffe of Hammersmith, London used a fictitious business to acquire his £50,000 Bounce Back Loan. Mr O’Keeffe invented a £312,000 turnover for ‘Trainersource’ when applying for the loan. He withdrew £22,000 in cash and spent the loan money “on general living expenses”, eventually being declared bankrupt in November 2021.

Ms Yasmin was handed a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, at Manchester Crown Court on 16th May 2024. She has since repaid both loans in full and has been ordered to pay £5,000 in compensation and costs.

Ms Dalecka was sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 24 months, on 3rd May 2024 at Snaresbrook Crown Court. She was also ordered to complete 300 hours of unpaid work and was handed a 3-month curfew.

Mr Todd was also sentenced to 18 months in prison, suspended for 24 months. His sentencing took place at Sheffield Crown Court on 20th May 2024. Mr Tood must complete 240 hours of unpaid work and pay £2,000 in compensation.

Mr O’Keeffe was also given an 18-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years, at Southwark Crown Court. He is subject to a 3-month curfew and 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

All 4 have been handed lengthy directorship bans in addition to their suspended sentences.

These cases highlight the severe consequences individuals faced for misusing the emergency loans, even if the sentences were suspended.

Directorship bans

While the suspended sentences handed out in May’s reported cases represent the most stringent punishments, other abusers of the Bounce Back Loan Scheme were given directorship bans.

A husband and wife estate agency team from Cornwall were disqualified from directorships for 6 and 5 years, respectively, after acquiring a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan using a false turnover figure and then using the money for personal gain instead of business purposes.

Another notable case involved a London-based builder who received a 10-year ban for obtaining a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan through fraudulent means and failing to provide proof of how the funds were used.

A greengrocer from London was disqualified for 7 years and told to pay over £37,000 in compensation for using £19,000 of the £35,000 Bounce Back Loan he acquired to invest on the stock market. Emra Kayam dissolved his business in November 2020 with the full value of the loan still outstanding.

Ongoing investigations

May’s flurry of updates is a reminder that, while many cases of Bounce Back Loan fraud have been prosecuted, there are ongoing investigations into suspected misuse of the scheme. In relation to the husband and wife estate agency business, Chief Investigator at the Insolvency Service, Kevin Read said: “Tackling abuse of the Bounce Back Loan scheme is a key priority for the Insolvency Service.”

Similarly, Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Company Investigations at the Insolvency Services said (in relation to a different case): “[This] lengthy ban shows the Insolvency Service will pursue those who seek to abuse taxpayers’ money and remove them from the business arena.”

Insolvency and debt investigations

Seeing the whole picture in insolvency and debt cases is key to maximising returns to creditors. For more information on how ESA Risk can help to identify hidden assets or locate targets who have gone to ground, contact Mike Wright, Investigations and Risk Management Consultant, at, on +44 (0)843 515 8686 or via our contact form.

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