A Manchester takeaway manager who fraudulently claimed £20,000 Bounce Back Loan has been sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Abdulrazag Zagroba, 54, from Manchester, appeared before the Manchester Crown Court on Friday, June 24, 2022, where he was sentenced to 24 months for Recorder Hudson.
This was the first successful criminal prosecution of a fraudulent bank loan fraud for the Insolvency Service, in which Abdulrazag Zagroba was also disqualified from serving as a director for 7 years.
The court heard that Zagroba was the sole director of Amigo Pizza (Manchester) Ltd, established in January 2020. The company operated a pizza takeaway in the Stretford area of Manchester until it was dissolved in October of the same year.
Zagroba’s application to dissolve the company was originally signed on June 17, 2020, but less than two weeks later he applied for a £20,000 Bounce Back Loan.
Zagroba did not disclose to the bank that the company was already in liquidation and he signed the loan statement stating that the company could pay off. By the time the loan was due to be repaid in June 2021, the company had already been dissolved.
The terms of the Bounce Back Loan were clear that funds could only be used for business purposes and not for personal use.
However, when Zagroba was gently questioned by Insolvency Service investigators, he admitted that he had no intention of using the Bounce Back Loan for the company.
Zagroba claimed he arranged for friends to travel with around £14,000 in cash to give to his family abroad. He used the remaining £6,000 to buy a car and insurance.
He pleaded guilty to charges of fraudulently claiming Covid-19 financial aid to which he was not entitled in violation of the Companies Act 2006 and the Fraud Act 2006 before the Manchester City Magistrate’s Court on 9 May.
Julie Barnes, principal investigator with the insolvency service said:
Covid loans are designed to support viable businesses during the pandemic. However, Abdulrazag Zagroba cynically tried to exploit the covid loan scheme and by winding up his company, he intended to frustrate any attempt by the lender to take action to recover the outstanding loan.
This sentence should serve as a warning to others who have engaged in this behavior, and they should make it clear and repay the money before it is too late.