News |Insolvency

21st July 2022

Ten-year ban for Bounce Back Loan abuse

Director of London grocer disqualified for “squandering” loan.

The sole director of Al-Amir Ltd, a grocer and butcher in northwest London, has received a ten-year disqualification from running companies after abusing the Bounce Back Loan Scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Abbas Abo Kifayah used the majority of a £50,000 loan as personal income, rather than on his company, with £43,200 transferred into his personal bank account. The loan was secured under false pretences, too, as Kifayah inflated turnover figures in his application.

Wembley-based Al-Amir Ltd went into creditors voluntary liquidation (CVL) in July last year, with Zain Iqbal of Cooper Young appointed as the company’s liquidator. The CVL triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service which uncovered Kifayah’s abuse of the loan scheme.

Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations, described how Kifayah “abused the government’s support when he inflated his company’s turnover in order to receive the maximum loan before squandering the money rather than use it to benefit his business.” He also cautioned: “Ten years is a significant amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena and Abbas Kifayah’s disqualification should serve as a clear warning that we will take decisive action to protect the public and the taxpayer.”

In addition to the large sum transferred by Kifayah to his personal account, he withdrew £2,250 of the loan in cash and sent around £3,000 “to a third party”. The 37 year old told investigators he used the loan “to pay his salary[,]…his backdated salary and [for] personal use.” The Insolvency Service said that “investigators could not find any evidence that any of the money was used for the benefit of the company.”

Kifayah’s disqualification undertaking was accepted on 30th June 2022. It is effective from today (21st July 2022) for ten years, and stops Kifayah “from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.”

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