Furlough Fraud Defence
If you are concerned that you may have committed furlough fraud you should get legal help immediately. Don’t delay contact us now. This is very important and we explain why below.
HMRC and Furlough Fraud
The Coronavirus Job Retentions Scheme (CJRS) was introduced on 23rd March 2020. Its purpose was to protect jobs by allowing employers to Furlough employees and receive significant financial assistance from Government to keep them on their payroll. Such a massive scheme is vulnerable to a large amount of deliberate and also unintentional wrongful claims.
HMRC has already started investigating businesses that it believes have deliberately or inadvertently allowed staff to work whilst on furlough.
The new laws mean that employers who have knowingly or unknowingly misused the furlough scheme will be given a 90 day window to admit their mistakes.
HMRC are very active in response to concerns about furlough fraud. HMRC have powers to recover furlough payments together with issuing penalties, fines and criminal sanctions. However HMRC have stated they will be lenient in cases of where genuine mistakes have occurred.
Types of Furlough Fraud
- Where furloughed staff are requested to continue to work from home;
- Where staff have been furloughed but the employee has not been informed of this and have continued to work.
- A company claims wages through the furlough scheme for a ‘ghost’ employee.
- Where a company backdates a claim to cover a period when an employee was in fact still working.
- Substantial term of imprisonment
- Unlimited fine
- Director disqualification
- You may have to repay any unentitled payments.
Get expert legal advice immediately
There is a 90 day amnesty during which you may get a more lenient result than thereafter. It is critical you get legal support from experts in financial crime who will negotiate the best possible outcome for you with HMRC.
During the 90 day amnesty a business can report any concerns that they might have made a wrongful claim for furlough payments. Within this period they have the prospect of securing leniency from the range of penalties available. It is considerably more difficult to obtain leniency in the case of deliberate furlough fraud. However in the case of either unintentional or deliberate fraud you will need expert legal advice in order to ensure you get the best possible outcome from the HMRC.
Check your insurance
Your insurance may cover the legal and other costs of HMRC investigations. So please check your insurance.
Adam Law Solicitors are experts in all types of fraud and financial crime
We have years of experience in defending those accused of, or under investigation for fraud and financial crime. We have conducted many successful defences. A lot of those have been high profile cases receiving national and international attention, and involving significant sums and serious potential sanctions.
Fraud and Financial crime investigations can be extremely stressful, take up a huge amount of time, and cost a great deal of money. You should contact us immediately If the consequesnces of financial fraud may impact you.