Retailer Walsall exaggerated company turnover by nearly £180,000 to receive £45,000 pandemic loan

Rebecca Simmons ‘grossly’ overstated her business turnover to receive £45,000 pandemic loan

Rebecca Simmons has ‘grossly exaggerated’ her business turnover by nearly £180,000 to receive the government loan.

Now Simmons, of Tia-Bella Limited, has been banned from running a business for nine years.

The 32-year-old ran the specialist balloon and gift retailer via Facebook, registered to addresses in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Middlesex.

She lied about her numbers in May 2020 so she could qualify for a rebound loan, designed to support viable businesses during the pandemic.

Simmons, from Walsall, had massively exaggerated her business turnover, which was in fact a maximum of £1,300 a year, £178,700 less than she had claimed.

This meant she was not even eligible for the £2,000 minimum repayment loan.

In the space of two months, Rebecca Simmons forced the company to make payments of just over £31,000, including £10,000 in directors’ loans, £10,000 for a company car and £10,000 repayments of deposits incurred before the pandemic.

Simmons has now been disqualified from running businesses for nine years and liquidators will also have a duty to consider how to recover funds from the bounce loan.

She was caught off guard when Tia-Bella went into voluntary liquidation in July 2021, just over two years after the company was incorporated.

The insolvency triggered further investigations by the insolvency services, which revealed his deception.

Simmons was unable to provide supporting documents, which prevented investigators from confirming whether or not the £45,000 bounce-back loan benefited the business.

The disqualification was imposed earlier this year after Simmons did not dispute that she had caused Tia-Bella Limited to apply for a government-backed rebound loan to which she was not entitled.

Since August 25, Rebecca Simmons is prohibited from getting directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, formation or management of a business, without the authorization of the court. Tia-Bella’s liquidator is considering repayment of the loan and recovery of the funds.

Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of insolvency investigations, said: “Bounce back loans have been issued by the government to help viable businesses during the pandemic.

“Not only did Rebecca Simmons grossly exaggerate the company’s turnover to get a loan she shouldn’t have gotten a penny of, Rebecca Simmons continued to use the funds for activities she couldn’t even get. not justify as benefiting Tia-Bella.

“Rebecca Simmons’ conduct was grossly below the standard required of a corporate director and was removed from the corporate arena for a considerable time.

“His nine-year ban should serve as a clear warning that if you abuse government support, we will use all our powers to hold you to account.”

Rebecca Simmons has been contacted for comment.