First arrest made in UK relating to £495k furlough fraud

HMRC has today confirmed that a 57-year-old man from Solihull, Birmingham has been arrested in connection with suspected fraud of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) – totalling £495,000.

The arrest was made on Wednesday this week and the man is also suspected of multi-million-pound tax fraud and money laundering.

This is the first arrest in connection to alleged fraud relating to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in the UK.

Acting Director of the Fraud Investigation Service at HMRC, Richard Las, said: “The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is part of the collective national effort to protect jobs. The vast majority of employers will have used the CJRS responsibly, but we will not hesitate to act on reports of abuse of the scheme.

“This is taxpayer’s 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.”