A government-backed COVID support loan of approximately £120,000 was misused by a car dealer, an IT consultant, and a builder resulting in directors disqualification.
After independent investigations revealed that Mathius Thompson, 33, from Birmingham, Moira Wood, 47, from Lightwater, Guildford, and Ioan Adrian Mociar, 35, from Harrow had abused the Bounce Back Loan programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, they were all banned from the industry for a combined 30 years.
In Ladywood, Birmingham, Mathius Thompson was the only director of West Midz Cars Ltd. He submitted an application for a £50,000 Bounce Back loan for his used vehicle company in May 2020.
Total of 30 years ban for all three directors
Government backed Bounce Back Loans was designed to help businesses survive the Covid-19 outbreak. Companies could apply for loans up to 25% of their 2019 revenue, up to a maximum of £50,000, under the terms of the programme.
All government support loan funds where required to be applied to the business’s financial advantage, all three directors suffered a disqualification due to abuse of the scheme.
West Midz Cars Ltd – in liquidation
The dealership’s estimated 2019 revenue was £287,500, according to Thompson’s loan application, and he was granted the maximum £50,000 loan available to the business. The Insolvency Service opened an investigation after the company went into bankruptcy in August 2021 owing £53,500, which included the whole amount of the Bounce Back Loan.
West Midz Cars Ltd.’s bank statements for 2019 reveal no income or trading activity, which means the company was not eligible for a loan, according to the findings of the investigation. The company’s revenue in 2019 was slightly over £2,500.
Additionally, there was no indication in the company accounts that the funds had been used for West Midz Cars’ financial gain. To reimburse the loan provider, a compensation order for £50,000 is now being sought.
Clockwork Compliance Services Ltd – in liquidation
In September 2020, Moira Wood—the sole director of Guildford, Surrey-based IT consultancy Clockwork Compliance Services Ltd—applied for a £24,000 Bounce Back Loan on behalf of her business. The company went out of business in February 2022, leaving an Insolvency Service Investigation in progress and owing £55,800 in total, which included the entire loan amount.
Just before the company went out of business, between October 2020 and January 2022, Wood transferred £23,400 to herself, according to the investigation. There was no proof that the money was used for Clockwork Compliance Services’ advantage.
Midi Construction Ltd – in liquidation
And Ioan Adrian Mociar, the sole director of Midi Construction Ltd in Pinner, Harrow, submitted an application for a £41,000 Bounce Back Loan for his construction firm, claiming that the company’s revenue for 2019 was $166,000 on the form. If a company started operating after January 1, 2019, the expected year turnover may be used in accordance with the scheme’s requirements.
The Insolvency Service opened an investigation when Midi Construction Ltd entered liquidation in December 2021 with debts totaling almost £46,000, including the full loan amount and almost £5,000 owing to HMRC.
The building company had only started doing business in June 2019, according to the investigators, and its accounts indicated that it had a turnover of about £45,500 for the fiscal year ending on May 31, 2020. As a result, Midi Construction had collected almost £29,600 more than what was permitted by the loan scheme’s criteria.
Additionally, they found that payments totalling more than £39,700 had been made during a three-week period between October and November 2020 from Midi Construction Ltd’s bank account without any indication that they were for the business’s financial gain.
Disqualification undertakings accepted by The Secretary of State
The three directors’ disqualification proceedings were accepted by the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy after they did not contest that they had caused their companies to either:
- provide misleading information to a bank to obtain a Bounce Back Loan when they knew or ought to have known that their business was not eligible for a loan of the amount claimed
- and/or not provide evidence to show that payments from the company bank accounts were used for the economic benefit of the company.
Ioan Mociar’s disqualification runs for 11 years from 6 January 2023. Moira Wood is banned for 8 years from 30 January 2023, and Mathius Thompson is banned for 11 years, also from 30 Jan 2023.
The disqualifications prevent them from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
Tom Phillips, Assistant Director of Company Investigations at the Insolvency Service, said:
The Bounce Back Loan scheme was designed to support businesses in genuine need. These three company directors abused taxpayers’ money to either apply for loans to which they weren’t entitled, or by failing to show that the money they claimed had been used to support their companies.
They have been removed from the corporate arena for a total of 30 years, and their disqualifications should serve as a reminder to others that the Insolvency Service will take action to protect the public and the taxpayer.
- West Midz Cars Ltd traded as a used car salesroom at Great Tindle St, Ladywood from its incorporation in January 2016 until it went into liquidation in August 2021.
- Clockwork Compliance Ltd traded as an IT consultancy firm in Guildford from its incorporation in January 2018 until it went into liquidation in February 2022.
- Midi Construction Ltd traded as a building company in Pinner, Harrow from its corporation in in May 2019 until it went into liquidation in December 2021.
Notes To Editors
Mathius Thompson is of Birmingham. His date of birth is September 1989
West Midz Cars Ltd (Company Reg no 09971067)
Moira Wood is of Lightwater. Her date of birth is January 1976
Clockwork Compliance Services Ltd (Company Reg no 11178007)
Ioan Adrian Mociar is of Harrow. His date of birth is September 1987.
Midi Construction Ltd (Company Reg no 11979789).
Disqualification undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a disqualification order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of restrictions.
Read more: Banks warn half of bounce back loans will never be repaid
With over three decades of experience in the business and turnaround sector, Steve Jones is one of the founders of Business Insolvency Helpline. With specialist knowledge of Insolvency, Liquidations, Administration, Pre-packs, CVA, MVL, Restructuring Advice and Company investment.