HR boss faces jail for massive £240k Covid business fraud while 'carrying out romance fraud'November 14, 2020
A HUMAN resources boss is facing jail after trying to claim £240,000 in Covid-support bounce back loans.
Timilehin 'Yvette' Olasemo, 38, made eight separate claims for £30,000 bank loans on behalf of her employer Essex Cares Ltd, Southwark Crown Court heard.
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Olasemo was also accused of helping her friend Olufemi Akkineye, 33, carry out a "romance fraud" by befriending men on dating sites.
Wearing a white polka dot dress, Olasemo admitted conspiring to commit fraud by false representation in relation to the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) claims at Southwark Crown Court on Thursday.
Prosecutor Gareth Munday said her friend Akinneye set up a profile of a woman calling herself Catherine Adams with fake pictures to convince potential suitors to send 'her' money.
"They contacted individual men posing as Catherine Adams and Mrs Olasemo was the female voice to speak to them," he said.
Akkineye also defrauded businesses and individuals by diverting legitimate payments to bank accounts owned by him and other fraudsters between 2014 and 2020, the court heard.
Janice Brennan, defending Olasemo, asked for reports to be prepared before she is sentenced and said: "Although obviously the sentence is to be of immediate imprisonment, she has two dependent children and at the moment there is a lack of complete certainty of who is going to take care of them."
Adjourning sentence until November 27, judge Alexander Milne told the pair: "You will be remanded in custody.
"I have ordered preparation of pre-sentence reports for both."
Olasemo, of Romford, admitted conspiring to commit fraud by false representation.
She denied fraud in respect of the dating site scam and the charge was ordered to lie on the file.
Akinneye, whose address was given in Wandsworth prison, admitted two counts of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation and a single count of money laundering.
They were remanded in custody until November 27.
RISHI'S BOUNCE BACK SCHEME
In April, Rishi Sunak announced small firms would be able to get interest free loans worth up to £50,000 under an emergency micro-loans scheme.
It meant businesses would get loans worth up to 25 per cent of their turnover, up to a maximum of £50,000, with cash arriving within 24 hours of application.
In October, more than £38billion worth of bounce back loans had been lent to around 1.3million companies.
The Government guaranteed the loans and promised to cover the first year's interest payments.
But analysis of the scheme has since showed that “significantly above” £2billion could have already been paid to fraudsters.
The National Audit Office said the high risk of fraud and loan defaults was due to the lenient criteria — designed to give firms quick loans to stop them going bust during the Covid crisis.
And it is feared fraud and bankruptcy could cost Rishi Sunak’s flagship scheme £26billion.
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