Fraud fears over £26million to companies set up AFTER furlough started

Fraud fears over £26million in payments to companies that were set up AFTER Covid relief scheme started

  • Around 340 firms were registered to just five addresses, prompting fraud fears
  • A new HMRC team tasked with recovering £1billion is likely to scrutinise firms
  • 7,000 companies registered to five London addresses claimed up to £473million
  • Furlough helped pay the wages of 11.6million workers at a cost of £70billion 

Hundreds of companies which started trading after the furlough scheme was set up have claimed up to £26.6million from the taxpayer, it was reported last night.

Around 340 firms registered to just five addresses in London are said to have been established on or after March 1 last year, when furlough came into force, prompting fraud fears.

A new HMRC team tasked with recovering £1billion in fraudulent or incorrect claims is likely to scrutinise such firms.

Three of the most used addresses are linked to ‘formation agents’ – specialist firms that set up and organise new businesses on behalf of directors, according to The Times.

Around 340 firms registered to just five addresses in London are said to have been established on or after March 1 last year, when furlough came into force, prompting fraud fears

These formation specialists have previously been linked to organised crime and money laundering as they provide legitimate addresses and credible company names, making it easier for rogue firms to gain the trust of victims.

However, there are legitimate reasons to use a formation agent – and so many of the claims are likely to be lawful.

In total, 7,000 companies registered to only five London addresses claimed up to £473million between them from last December to June.

Furlough helped pay the wages of 11.6million workers at a cost of almost £70billion before stopping in September.

But HMRC estimates that more than £6billion has been lost to fraud and error.

Furlough helped pay the wages of 11.6million workers at a cost of almost £70billion before stopping in September. Pictured: Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer 

Source: Read Full Article

click fraud detection