A businessman has been disqualified from being a director for 11 years after using his companies to take out unentitled Bounce Back Loans (BBL) totalling £100,000.

Richie Barratt was handed the ban after sending himself and family members thousands of pounds worth of the government loans which were intended to help businesses survive during the pandemic.

The 45-year-old was director of two companies, No 1 Carpet Cleaning and Trade Checkers Ltd, when he applied for two £50k BBL’s – a maximum sum which businesses were only able to apply for if they were trading as of March 1, 2020, and had been adversely affected by Covid.

Despite No 1 Carpet Cleaning having ceased trading in November 2019, Mr Barratt, of Footners Lane in Burton, Dorset, applied for the loan in August 2020 by falsely claiming the business was still trading.

Profit and loss accounts prepared for the company for the period of November 2018 to November 2019 recorded a turnover of £56,667, while on the application Mr Barratt stated the company turnover for 2019 was £350,000.

The first £50,000 BBL was paid into No 1 Carpet’s bank account on August 18, 2020.

Dorset Echo: The Insolvency Service.The Insolvency Service. (Image: Gov.uk)

The very next day, £15,000 was transferred out of the company bank account to Mr Barratt and £25,000 was transferred to connected companies. Two months later, a further £10,000 was transferred to a connected company.

Mr Barratt also received a BBL worth £50k for his other company Trade Checkers Ltd. Of this, £35k was transferred to a family member of Mr Barratt.

He was snared following an investigation by The Insolvency Service, a government agency that tackles financial wrongdoing.

In March this year, the service disqualified Mr Barratt from being a company director for a period of 11 years. In its report, The Insolvency Service stated Mr Barratt “failed to provide any evidence” that the loans were for the benefit of his companies.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Mr Barratt states: “I help build and grow multi-million-pound companies. I have built many companies for myself and now enjoy helping other people grow or start companies turning them into multi-million pound companies.”