London grocer disqualified as director for 10 years after squandering £50,000 bounce bank loan
Abbas Abo Kifayah of northwest London was the sole director of Al-Amir Ltd. The company traded as a grocer and butchers from premises in Wembley, northwest London.
The company went into creditors’ voluntary liquidation in July 2021, which triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service.
Investigators discovered that Kifayah had secured a £50,000 bounce back loan for Al-Amir Ltd in August 2020 during the pandemic. However, he exaggerated the company’s turnover to secure a higher value loan than Al-Amir Ltd was entitled to.
Further enquiries found that once the £50,000 loan was placed into the company’s bank account, £43,200 was transferred into Kifayah’s personal account, while just over £3,000 was transferred to a third party and £2,250 was withdrawn in cash.
When Kifayah was questioned about these transactions, he stated that £12,000 was used to pay his salary and the remainder for his backdated salary and personal use. However, investigators could not find any evidence that any of the money was used for the benefit of the company.
On 30 June 2022, the secretary of state for business accepted a 10-year disqualification undertaking from Kifayah after he did not dispute that he obtained a £50,000 bounce back loan which the company was not entitled to and failed to use the funds received for the economic benefit of Al-Amir Ltd.
Effective from 21 July 2022, Kifayah is banned from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.
Al-Amir Ltd’s liquidator is considering the bounce back loans and recovery of funds.
Lawrence Zussman, deputy head of insolvent investigations at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Bounce back loans were available to support viable businesses through the pandemic. Abbas Kifayah, however, abused the government’s support when he inflated his company’s turnover in order to receive the maximum loan before squandering the money rather than using it to benefit his business.
‘10 years is a significant amount of time to be removed from the corporate arena and Abbas Kifayah’s disqualification should serve as a clear warning that we will take decisive action to protect the public and the taxpayer.’