August 5, 2022 1.00 pm This story is over 22 months old

Lincoln home salon owner gave £10,000 from Covid recovery loan to sister

Government working to recover taxpayers’ money

A Lincoln student has been banned from running a company for 10 years after abusing a Covid recovery loan.

Georgiana Cercel got a £50,000 government-backed loan from the Bounce Back Loan scheme by overstating how much her beauty business earned.

She then gave £10,000 of the money to her sister. Ms Cercel was studying full-time while she ran the business from her home.

She is the among the latest group of business owners named by the government who abused the Covid recovery loans .

Bankruptcy restrictions have now been placed on her for ten years, meaning she can’t borrow more than £500 without disclosing her status and cannot act as a company director without a court’s permission.

An Official Receiver is working on potential recovery action.

Kevin Read, Official Receiver at the Insolvency Service, said: “In all of these cases it was obvious, or it should have been obvious, that they either misused the Bounce Back Loan for personal benefit, took a larger loan than they were eligible for, or weren’t eligible for a Bounce Back Loan at all.

“This is taxpayers’ money they have abused and we will not hesitate to impose bankruptcy restrictions in these circumstances.”

The Bounce Back scheme offered smaller businesses a loan of between £2,000 and a quarter of their turnover, as long as this was less than £50,000.

The scheme, which ended in 2021, was designed to get small businesses back on their feet following the coronavirus lockdown.

Other individuals named in the latest release include a woman who spent £15,000 of her £50,000 loan on personal expenses.

Another woman transferred £14,000 of her £22,000 loan to her husband.