West Midlands man arrested for suspected €500,000 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme fraud.
As part of a wider investigation, a further eight men from across the West Midlands have also been arrested, the massive operation, which involved the deployment of more than 100 HMRC officers to 11 locations, seized computers and other digital devices plus business and personal records.
Richard Las, acting director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, said: “The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is part of the collective national effort to protect jobs. The vast majority of employers will have used it responsibly, but we will not hesitate to act on reports of abuse of the scheme.
“This is taxpayers’ money and any claim that proves to be fraudulent limits our ability to support people and deprives public services of essential funding. As usual, we have built steps in to prevent mistakes and fraud happening in the first place, but anyone who is concerned that their employer might be abusing the scheme should report it to HMRC online.”
More than £27.4 billion has been claimed through the Job Retention Scheme supporting 1.1 million employers and 9.4 million furloughed jobs.
More than nine million workers who are unable to do their job because of the coronavirus outbreak have had their wages paid by the government. The furlough scheme was designed to help people put on leave because of the outbreak, and prevent mass redundancies. Firms start paying towards the scheme from August. It will close in October, with employers receiving a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed worker they keep on until January 2021.