A scaffolder from Sunderland who was dishonest in applying for a bounce-back loan has had his bankruptcy restrictions extended.

Lee Thomas Hobson, 34, ran LTH Scaffolding until December 2019, when he chose to cease trading and began working for a separate company.

Despite this, he applied for a government-backed Bounce Back loan, which he received on 12 May 2020. Hobson used the money to repay his creditors, rather than for its intended purpose, which is to cover business costs that should have allowed  LTH Scaffolding to keep trading.

Scaffolder censured

An Improper Bounce Back Loan Application

Hobson was declared bankrupt on October 16, 2020, but due to his improper application for the Government-backed Bounce Back Loan and the risk he posed to other creditors, the Official Receiver has extended his bankruptcy to 10 years.

This means that for this period, he is limited as to what credit he can access, as well as not being able to act as a company director without the court’s permission.

Official Receiver Richard Gill said: “Mr. Hobson was not entitled to the loan as he had already stopped trading, having taken up employment. This money was not used for the purpose it was intended.

“Bounce Back loans are intended to enable businesses to survive the COVID-19 lockdowns and to be used to provide economic benefit for a business. It is hoped that this Bankruptcy Restrictions Undertaking will act as a deterrent to others who may wish to abuse the government’s COVID-19 relief schemes.”