Two people have been arrested as part of an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into a suspected £70,000 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) fraud.
HMRC officers attended residential addresses yesterday (10 September 2020) in the Romford and Walthamstow areas of London where a 43-year-old accountant and a 51-year-old company director were arrested.
Digital devices and business records were also seized.
Terry Braithwaite, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said:
“The CJRS is part of the collective national effort to protect jobs. While most employers have used the scheme responsibly, this is taxpayers’ money and HMRC will not hesitate to act on reports of abuse of the scheme.
“Anyone who is concerned their employer has abused the scheme should report it to HMRC on gov.uk or by calling our fraud hotline line 0800 788 887.”
HMRC has paid out more than £35.4 billion through the CJRS to support 1.2m employers and 9.6m furloughed jobs.
The CJRS scheme has four lines of defence to protect against fraud:
- Employees have to have been on a payroll on or before 19 March – preventing the use of fake employees
- Claims are only accepted from employers known – and authenticated – by HMRC
- All claims are assessed by a specialist team within a 72-hour window
- Proportionate and reasonable interventions with customers after money has been paid.Two people have been arrested as part of an HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) investigation into a suspected £70,000 Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) fraud.