A letting agency boss has been hit with an 11-year ban after repeatedly abusing the Bounce Back Loan scheme.
Laszlo Szabo, the sole director of Letting Base Ltd in London’s Holloway Road, applied for – and was granted - a Bounce Back Loan of £38,000 to support his business, which had formerly traded as Hungarian Lettings Ltd. Five days later he applied for another Bounce Back Loan of £50,000, this time from a different bank. Ten days after this he applied for a £12,000 top-up to the first loan, taking the total borrowed up to £100,000.
The following day he returned to the second bank, seeking a further top-up of £50,000 to the second loan. This time the application was rejected. Under the rules of the government scheme, which aimed to keep companies afloat during the pandemic, a business could only take out one loan, although they could apply for a top-up if the original loan was less than the maximum to which they were entitled.
Letting Base Ltd went into liquidation in January 2022 owing more than £243,000, triggering an investigation by the Insolvency Service. Szabo’s disqualification prevents him from directly or indirectly becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
However, due to Szabo’s personal circumstances, it is unlikely that repayment of the Bounce Back Loans will be made, says Nina Cassar, deputy head of investigations at the Insolvency Service. She adds: “His blatant and repeated abuse of taxpayer’s money has resulted in a lengthy disqualification, which will serve to safeguard the economy from traders who exploit financial support packages designed to help UK businesses.”