Construction and training bosses banned over Covid loan abuse
The bosses of a London construction company and a sports coaching firm in Greater Manchester have each been banned from running a business for 11 years after abusing Bounce Back Loans.
Lavinia-Larisa Mociar, 31, has demanded £50,000 to support the Harrow-based construction company of which she was director. However, the company had ceased operations at the time of the application.
And Shafiqur Rahman, 26, and chairman of a local charity, had exaggerated the turnover of his Manchester-based sports coaching business to claim £25,000.
But the amount received by Aspire Sports Coaching & Partners Ltd was more than 11 times the money the business was entitled to and Rahman spent £20,000 of it without being able to prove it had been used to support the business.
Under the rules of the scheme, businesses applying for the loan had to be actively trading by March 2020. Businesses could apply for loans of up to 25% of their 2019 turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000 , to help keep their business afloat during the pandemic.
Lavinia-Larisa Mociar, originally from Romania, was the sole director of L&M Construct Ltd until the company went into liquidation in November 2021.
However, L&M Construct Ltd had ceased operations in October 2019 – a year before Mociar applied for the Bounce Back loan, which was intended to help businesses through the pandemic.
Investigators found that not only did L&M Construct Ltd fail to trade in 2020, Mociar also exaggerated the company’s turnover to claim the maximum £50,000. There was less than £50 in the company’s bank account when the loan was deposited in October 2020.
Mociar then withdrew over £50,000 from the company’s account before the end of 2020 – further abuse of the scheme, as the money was not being used for the economic benefit of the company.
The company went into liquidation owing approximately £50,000 including the full amount of the loan.
Shafiqur Rahman, based in Manchester, was a director of Aspire Sports Coaching & Partners Ltd, which provided sports programs and activities to primary schools and holiday clubs in Greater Manchester.
Rahman was also the founder and chairman of Oldham Inspiring Youth, a charity which aimed to engage children through sport and education, and which crowdfunded a yellow school bus to be used as a community education space in Oldham.
He applied for a £25,000 Bounce Back Loan in May 2020 to support Aspire Sports Coaching during the pandemic shutdowns when most children were out of school. The business closed in May 2021, triggering an investigation by the insolvency service.
Investigators found that, based on the company’s actual turnover, Aspire Sports Coaching & Partners should have only been eligible for a £2,000 Bounce Back loan, and that the company had received £23,000 which she was not entitled to.
Investigators also discovered that Rahman paid £20,000 on the business and gave a false invoice for the amount to liquidators in an attempt to account for the unexplained payment. The business closed with debts of £25,000 – the full amount of the loan money.
The Secretary of State accepted disqualification undertakings from the two errant bosses, and they each received 11-year bans. Rahman’s ban started on October 11 this year and Mociar’s started on November 8, 2022.
The disqualifications prevent the two former directors from becoming directly or indirectly involved in the promotion, incorporation or management of a company, without the authorization of the court.
Tom Phillips, Deputy Director of Insolvency Service Investigation and Enforcement Services, said:
These administrators grossly abused the government’s Bounce Back Loan rescue program.
The lengthy disqualifications should remind others that the Insolvency Service will not shirk its responsibility by taking action to protect the public and the taxpayer.”
Notes to Editors
Lavinia-Larisa Mociar is from Harrow and her date of birth is July 1991.
L&M Construct Ltd (company registration number 11346012).
Shafiqur Rahman is from Oldham and his date of birth is October 1996;
Aspire Sports Coaching & Partners Ltd (company registration number 11179915).
A disqualification order means that, without the express permission of a court, a disqualified person cannot:
- act as a director of a company
- participate, directly or indirectly, in the promotion, incorporation or management of a company or a limited liability company
- to be a receiver of a company’s assets
Forfeiture undertakings are the administrative equivalent of a forfeiture order but do not involve court proceedings.
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a [range of other restrictions]((https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/corporate-insolvency-effect-of-a-disqualification-order).
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