A businessman from Stanmore has been handed a suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of fraud.
Rajesh Dhirajlal Vaghela, 46, was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for 18 months, at Harrow Crown Court on April 13. He had previously pleaded guilty to fraud by abusing the Bounce Back Loan scheme.
Vaghela was also ordered to pay £2,150 in court costs. He had repaid the loan in full before being sentenced.
He was a director of RKV Consultancy Ltd, which had traded as a consulting firm from Stanmore since its incorporation in March 2019. He applied for a £25,000 Bounce Back Loan – introduced to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic – from his bank on behalf of the consultancy in May 2020.
The loan was paid into the company’s bank account, but within a week of receiving the money, Vaghela filed paperwork with Companies House to have the business dissolved. He later transferred all the loan money to personal bank accounts.
The striking-off application to dissolve a company makes clear that creditors, such as a bank with an outstanding loan, should be notified within seven days of applying to close the business and that failure to notify interested parties is a criminal offence.
After RKV Consultancy Ltd was dissolved, The Insolvency Service and cross-government counter-fraud systems identified its closure as probable Bounce Back Loan fraud.
Investigators found Vaghela had not informed his bank of his application to dissolve the consultancy.
Peter Fulham, chief investigator of The Insolvency Service’s criminal enforcement team, said: “This sentence reflects the thoroughly dishonest conduct of Rajesh Vaghela and should serve as a warning to others who engaged in this behaviour that they are at risk of criminal prosecutions.”
Credit – Insolvency Service